student profile: Mrs Rachael Rietdijk


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Thesis work

Thesis title: Communication training for people with traumatic brain injury and their communication partners via telehealth

Supervisors: Leanne TOGHER , Emma POWER

Thesis abstract:

This project aims to investigate the potential for using telehealth to deliver social communication skills training to people with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and their carers. It will determine whether social communication skills and carer support skills can be evaluated accurately over the internet, and whether a telehealth training program for social communication skills is as effective as a face-to-face training program. It will also investigate the perceptions and experiences of people with TBI and their carers in relation to telehealth interventions. 
 
The reliability phase involves an observational study under two assessment conditions (Skype-based telehealth and face-to-face). Twenty participants with TBI and their communication partners will be recruited from metropolitan and regional brain injury units. Participants will complete the same assessment tasks in the two modes, and will be randomly allocated to which assessment condition they first complete.  Outcome measures relating to the communication skills of the person with TBI and the support skills of the carer will be collected from both conditions and compared to provide information about reliability of assessment using the telehealth mode. 
 
For the treatment phase, an existing group-based training manual "TBI Express" will be adapted into a form that can be delivered to individual families over telehealth. The adapted program will initially be trialled in a telehealth pilot study with two participants. If the pilot study is successful, we will then conduct a partially randomized controlled trial comparing the outcomes of telehealth training and face-to-face training. 36 participants with TBI and their communication partners will be recruited from metropolitan and regional brain injury units and allocated to these two conditions. 24 participants in the Sydney metropolitan area will be randomised to telehealth or face-to-face training at a ratio of 1:3. 12 participants outside Sydney will receive telehealth training. Both conditions will involve a ten week communication training course completed by the person with TBI together with a communication partner. The only difference between the conditions will be the mode of delivery (telehealth vs face-to-face home visit). A historical control group which recruited using the same eligibility criteria as those used for this trial will be used for no-treatment control data. Outcomes measures for communication and carer support skills will be selected from those found to be suitable from the reliability study. Data will be collected at baseline, at completion of the training program and at three months post-treatment.

Selected grants

2013

  • Using telehealth to evaluate and develop the communication support skills of the family members and carers of people with traumatic brain injury; Togher L, Power E, Rietdijk R; Institute for Safety Compensation and Recovery Research/Development Grant.

Selected publications

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Journals

  • O'Rourke, A., Power, E., O�Halloran, R., Rietdijk, R. (2018). Common and distinct components of communication partner training programmes in stroke, traumatic brain injury and dementia. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 53(6), 1150-1168. [More Information]
  • Rietdijk, R., Power, E., Brunner, M., Togher, L. (2017). Reliability of videoconferencing administration of a communication questionnaire to people with traumatic brain injury and their close others. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 32(6), E38-E44. [More Information]
  • Togher, L., McDonald, S., Tate, R., Rietdijk, R., Power, E. (2016). The effectiveness of social communication partner training for adults with severe chronic TBI and their families using a measure of perceived communication ability. NeuroRehabilitation, 38(3), 243-255. [More Information]
  • Rietdijk, R., Simpson, G., Togher, L., Power, E., Gillett, L. (2013). An exploratory prospective study of the association between communication skills and employment outcomes after severe traumatic brain injury. Brain Injury, 27(7-8), 812-818. [More Information]
  • Togher, L., McDonald, S., Tate, R., Power, E., Rietdijk, R. (2013). Training communication partners of people with severe traumatic brain injury improves everyday conversations: A multicenter single blind clinical trial. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 45(7), 637-645. [More Information]
  • Togher, L., Power, E., Rietdijk, R., McDonald, S., Tate, R. (2012). An exploration of participant experience of a communication training program for people with traumatic brain injury and their communication partners. Disability and Rehabilitation, 34(18), 1562-1574. [More Information]
  • Togher, L., Power, E., McDonald, S., Tate, R., Rietdijk, R. (2012). Family members can improve the communication of their relative with communication disability. Independent Living Journal, 28(1), 25-29.
  • Rietdijk, R., Togher, L., Power, E. (2012). Supporting family members of people with traumatic brain injury using telehealth: A systematic review. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 44(11), 913-921. [More Information]
  • Togher, L., Power, E., Tate, R., McDonald, S., Rietdijk, R. (2010). Measuring the social interactions of people with traumatic brain injury and their communication partners: The adapted Kagan scales. Aphasiology, 24(6-8), 914-927. [More Information]
  • Togher, L., Power, E., McDonald, S., Tate, R., Rietdijk, R. (2010). TBI Express: A communication training program for everyday communication partners of people with traumatic brain injury. Acquiring Knowledge in Speech, Language and Hearing, 12(2), 82-84.
  • Togher, L., McDonald, S., Tate, R., Power, E., Rietdijk, R. (2009). Training Communication Partners of People with Traumatic Brain Injury: Reporting the Protocol for a Clinical Trial. Brain Impairment, 10(2), 188-204. [More Information]
  • Togher, L., McDonald, S., Tate, R., Power, E., Rietdijk, R. (2009). Training communication partners to improve communication for people with TBI. Synapse (Australia), September, 15-16.

Conferences

  • Rietdijk, R., Simpson, G., Togher, L., Power, E., Lauren, G. (2012). Association between functional communication measures and vocational outcomes after severe traumatic brain injury. 15th International Aphasia Rehabilitation Conference, Melbourne.
  • Rietdijk, R., Togher, L., Power, E. (2012). Reaching communication partners of people with traumatic brain injury using telehealth: A systematic review. 15th International Aphasia Rehabilitation Conference, Melbourne.
  • Togher, L., McDonald, S., Tate, R., Power, E., Rietdijk, R. (2011). Communication partner training facilitates everyday outcomes for people with acquired communication disability. The World Report on Disability: Implications for Asia and the Pacific Symposium.
  • Togher, L., Power, E., McDonald, S., Tate, R., Rietdijk, R. (2010). Communication skills of people with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be improved by training everyday communication partners: Findings from a single-blind multi-centre trial. Clinical Aphasiology Conference, Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh.
  • Togher, L., Power, E., McDonald, S., Tate, R., Rietdijk, R. (2010). Training communication partners of people with traumatic brain injury (TBI) improves casual conversational interactions. Eighth World Congress on Brain Injury in Washington, DC on March 10-14, 2010, Washington, DC: International Brain Injury Association. [More Information]
  • Togher, L., Power, E., McDonald, S., Tate, R., Rietdijk, R. (2009). Inter-rater reliability of the Measure of Support in Conversation and Measure of Participation in Conversation. 2009 Clinical Aphasiology Conference.
  • Togher, L., Power, E., McDonald, S., Tate, R., Rietdijk, R. (2009). Participant perceptions of a communication training program for people with traumatic brain injury and their communication partners. 32nd Annual Brain Impairment Conference ASSBI 2009, Australia: Australian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment.
  • Togher, L., McDonald, S., Tate, R., Power, E., Rietdijk, R. (2009). Perceived communication ability can be improved by training communication partners of people with traumatic brain injury (TBI). 32nd Annual Brain Impairment Conference ASSBI 2009, Australia: Australian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment.

Magazine / Newspaper Articles

  • Togher, L., McDonald, S., Tate, R., Power, E., Rietdijk, R. (2008). The Other Side of the Coin: Training Communication Partners to Improve Communication for people with TBI. The BIA NSW Summer 2008 Newsletter.

2018

  • O'Rourke, A., Power, E., O�Halloran, R., Rietdijk, R. (2018). Common and distinct components of communication partner training programmes in stroke, traumatic brain injury and dementia. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 53(6), 1150-1168. [More Information]

2017

  • Rietdijk, R., Power, E., Brunner, M., Togher, L. (2017). Reliability of videoconferencing administration of a communication questionnaire to people with traumatic brain injury and their close others. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 32(6), E38-E44. [More Information]

2016

  • Togher, L., McDonald, S., Tate, R., Rietdijk, R., Power, E. (2016). The effectiveness of social communication partner training for adults with severe chronic TBI and their families using a measure of perceived communication ability. NeuroRehabilitation, 38(3), 243-255. [More Information]

2013

  • Rietdijk, R., Simpson, G., Togher, L., Power, E., Gillett, L. (2013). An exploratory prospective study of the association between communication skills and employment outcomes after severe traumatic brain injury. Brain Injury, 27(7-8), 812-818. [More Information]
  • Togher, L., McDonald, S., Tate, R., Power, E., Rietdijk, R. (2013). Training communication partners of people with severe traumatic brain injury improves everyday conversations: A multicenter single blind clinical trial. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 45(7), 637-645. [More Information]

2012

  • Togher, L., Power, E., Rietdijk, R., McDonald, S., Tate, R. (2012). An exploration of participant experience of a communication training program for people with traumatic brain injury and their communication partners. Disability and Rehabilitation, 34(18), 1562-1574. [More Information]
  • Rietdijk, R., Simpson, G., Togher, L., Power, E., Lauren, G. (2012). Association between functional communication measures and vocational outcomes after severe traumatic brain injury. 15th International Aphasia Rehabilitation Conference, Melbourne.
  • Togher, L., Power, E., McDonald, S., Tate, R., Rietdijk, R. (2012). Family members can improve the communication of their relative with communication disability. Independent Living Journal, 28(1), 25-29.
  • Rietdijk, R., Togher, L., Power, E. (2012). Reaching communication partners of people with traumatic brain injury using telehealth: A systematic review. 15th International Aphasia Rehabilitation Conference, Melbourne.
  • Rietdijk, R., Togher, L., Power, E. (2012). Supporting family members of people with traumatic brain injury using telehealth: A systematic review. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 44(11), 913-921. [More Information]

2011

  • Togher, L., McDonald, S., Tate, R., Power, E., Rietdijk, R. (2011). Communication partner training facilitates everyday outcomes for people with acquired communication disability. The World Report on Disability: Implications for Asia and the Pacific Symposium.

2010

  • Togher, L., Power, E., McDonald, S., Tate, R., Rietdijk, R. (2010). Communication skills of people with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be improved by training everyday communication partners: Findings from a single-blind multi-centre trial. Clinical Aphasiology Conference, Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh.
  • Togher, L., Power, E., Tate, R., McDonald, S., Rietdijk, R. (2010). Measuring the social interactions of people with traumatic brain injury and their communication partners: The adapted Kagan scales. Aphasiology, 24(6-8), 914-927. [More Information]
  • Togher, L., Power, E., McDonald, S., Tate, R., Rietdijk, R. (2010). TBI Express: A communication training program for everyday communication partners of people with traumatic brain injury. Acquiring Knowledge in Speech, Language and Hearing, 12(2), 82-84.
  • Togher, L., Power, E., McDonald, S., Tate, R., Rietdijk, R. (2010). Training communication partners of people with traumatic brain injury (TBI) improves casual conversational interactions. Eighth World Congress on Brain Injury in Washington, DC on March 10-14, 2010, Washington, DC: International Brain Injury Association. [More Information]

2009

  • Togher, L., Power, E., McDonald, S., Tate, R., Rietdijk, R. (2009). Inter-rater reliability of the Measure of Support in Conversation and Measure of Participation in Conversation. 2009 Clinical Aphasiology Conference.
  • Togher, L., Power, E., McDonald, S., Tate, R., Rietdijk, R. (2009). Participant perceptions of a communication training program for people with traumatic brain injury and their communication partners. 32nd Annual Brain Impairment Conference ASSBI 2009, Australia: Australian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment.
  • Togher, L., McDonald, S., Tate, R., Power, E., Rietdijk, R. (2009). Perceived communication ability can be improved by training communication partners of people with traumatic brain injury (TBI). 32nd Annual Brain Impairment Conference ASSBI 2009, Australia: Australian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment.
  • Togher, L., McDonald, S., Tate, R., Power, E., Rietdijk, R. (2009). Training Communication Partners of People with Traumatic Brain Injury: Reporting the Protocol for a Clinical Trial. Brain Impairment, 10(2), 188-204. [More Information]
  • Togher, L., McDonald, S., Tate, R., Power, E., Rietdijk, R. (2009). Training communication partners to improve communication for people with TBI. Synapse (Australia), September, 15-16.

2008

  • Togher, L., McDonald, S., Tate, R., Power, E., Rietdijk, R. (2008). The Other Side of the Coin: Training Communication Partners to Improve Communication for people with TBI. The BIA NSW Summer 2008 Newsletter.

Note: This profile is for a student at the University of Sydney. Views presented here are not necessarily those of the University.