Discourse level reading comprehension interventions following acquired brain injury: a systematic review
K Watter, A Copley, E Finch
Abstract: Purpose Reading comprehension can change following acquired brain injury (ABI), impacting independence and participation. This review aims to identify and evaluate the interventions used for rehabilitation of discourse level reading in adults with ABI. Methods A systematic review was conducted of published journal articles. Methodological quality of studies was reviewed using formal and informal rating scales. Inclusion criteria involved adults with non-progressive ABI who experienced discourse level reading deficits related to aphasia or cognitive-communication disorders. Results A total of 23 studies were identified; these included randomized controlled trials, cohort and case studies. Six different types of reading interventions were found, overall results of these interventions were mixed. Reading deficits were reportedly related to language (aphasia) and/or cognitive deficits, with assessment processes varying. Questions arose regarding comparability of assessment methods and diagnostic issues across the studies. Conclusions Interventions for discourse level reading comprehension can make positive changes to reading function. However, no intervention was identified as a gold standard. A trend toward strategy-based reading was found, with these offering a potential for (comparatively) cost-effective lower-dosage reading treatments with positive-trend results. Cognitive and language features should be considered for assessment and intervention planning for discourse reading in ABI. Implications for Rehabilitation Six different types of discourse reading comprehension interventions for people with ABI were identified, with mixed evidence for each intervention. Clinicians need to consider both the linguistic and cognitive features of reading for assessment and intervention planning for discourse level reading. There is a research trend toward strategy-based reading interventions, which use a lower treatment dosage.