Computer-based workplace communication training in persons with traumatic brain injury: The work-related communication program

Peter Meulenbroek*, Leora R. Cherney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: This proof-of-concept study presents a computer-based social communication training for spoken workplace interactions called Work-Related Communication (WoRC) training. This program implements didactic training, role-play, and immediate feedback using a simulation approach to improve spoken language performance. The unique target of this training is a category of linguistic markers called politeness markers which are essential for cooperative workplace exchanges. Methods: We recruited eight adults with chronic traumatic brain injury. All participants demonstrated reduced politeness marker use in language sampling before treatment. This study had a quasi-experimental treatment design. We measured the rate of politeness marker use (politeness markers per minute) using the Voicemail Elicitation Task and novel role-play tasks, and the La Trobe Communication Questionnaire as outcome (dependent) variables. Results: After training, participants demonstrated an increase in trained and untrained politeness marker use that was significant for the novel role-play tasks. The La Trobe Communication Questionnaire found that familiar conversation partners reported a significant increase in social communication skills. Conclusion: The WoRC program has implications for introducing a sociolinguistic foundation for social communication training in general and specifically for vocational placement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106104
JournalJournal of Communication Disorders
StatePublished - May 1 2021


  • Adult
  • Communicative disorders
  • Job re-entry
  • Speech-language pathology
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Treatment methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Speech and Hearing
  • LPN and LVN


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