Persuasive Discourse Impairments in Traumatic Brain Injury


1 Department of Speech Therapy, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation, Tehran, IR Iran

2 Department of Performing Arts, University of Tehran, Tehran, IR Iran

3 Trauma Research Center, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, IR Iran

4 Department of Biostatistics and Computer, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation, Tehran, IR Iran

5 Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran



Considering the cognitive and linguistic complexity of discourse production, it is expected that individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) should face difficulties in this task. Therefore, clinical examination of discourse has become a useful tool for studying and assessment of communication skills of people suffering from TBI. Among different genres of discourse, persuasive discourse is considered as a more cognitively demanding task. However, little is known about persuasive discourse in individuals suffering from TBI.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the performance of adults with TBI on a task of spoken persuasive discourse to determine the impaired linguistic measures.

Patients and Methods
Thirteen TBI nonaphasic Persian speaking individuals, ranged between 19 to 40 years (Mean = 25.64 years; SD = 6.10) and 59 healthy adults matched by age, were asked to perform the persuasive discourse task. The task included asking the participants to express their opinion on a topic, and after the analysis of the produced discourse, the two groups were compared on the basis of their language productivity, sentential complexity, maze ratio and cohesion ratio.

The TBI group produced discourses with less productivity, sentential complexity, cohesion ratio and more maze ratio compared the control group.

As it is important to consider acquired communication disorders particularly discourse impairment of brain injured patients along with their other clinical impairments and regarding the fact that persuasive discourse is crucial in academic and social situations, the persuasive discourse task presented in this study could be a useful tool for speech therapists, intending to evaluate communication disorders in patients with TBI.