Communication deficits in the elderly after TBI as a function of age of injury: a systematic analysis of existing literature and survey of estimates of severity of impairment
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The elderly are a rapidly growing population in the United States and have the highest rate of TBI-related hospitalization. Across all levels of severity, elderly persons have uniformly poorer outcomes including quality of life, community integration, disability, and mortality, but there is a significant lack of published research regarding communication outcome in the elderly population. The likelihood that speech-language pathologists (SLPs) will clinically treat elderly clients with TBI is great; understanding the effects that age of injury has on communication may inform clinicians’ abilities to accurately and efficiently assess, diagnose, and treat the elderly. The present study examined the relationship between age of onset of injury and severity of communication deficits following traumatic brain injury (TBI); the study included a review of published research and a survey of SLP estimates of severity of impairment. Limitations of the study and directions for further research are discussed.