Traumatic brain injury in the acute care setting: assessment and management practices of speech-language pathologists

Emily L. Morrow, Amanda P. Hereford, Natalie V. Covington, Melissa C. Duff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Primary Objective: To characterize current knowledge, beliefs, confidence, and practice patterns of acute care speech-language pathologists (SLPs) in assessing and managing cognitive-communication disorders following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Research Design: We developed an online survey to learn more about current TBI knowledge and practice patterns of acute care SLPs, with the goal of establishing a baseline upon which changes in SLP training and practice standards may be measured. Methods and Procedures: We distributed the survey to 1800 SLPs in 18 states via postal mail, in addition to posting it to relevant online groups. One hundred and eighty-two practicing acute care SLPs responded to the survey. Main Outcomes and Results: Respondents were highly variable in their training and knowledge about TBI, their beliefs about cognitive-communication rehabilitation, and their practice patterns in assessing, managing, and communicating about TBI during the acute stage of injury. Conclusions: These results highlight the need for more consistent training about cognitive-communication deficits during and after graduate school, as well as the development of sensitive, specific, and standardized assessment tools, education protocols, and shared language for describing patients with TBI along the continuum of care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1590-1609
Number of pages20
JournalBrain Injury
Issue number12
StatePublished - Oct 14 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We sincerely thank the very busy acute care clinicians who took time to contribute to the development of this survey and to provide their insights for our study. Thank you to Michael de Riesthal and Rima Abou-Khalil for their contributions to this project and manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • acute care
  • cognitive-communication
  • speech-language pathology
  • Traumatic brain injury

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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