Resources

ASSESSMENT

The Awareness of Social Inference Test- Revised (TASIT- R)

McDonald, S, Flanagan, S. & Rollins, J. (2011) "The Awareness of Social Inference Test" comprising two video tapes (Forms A and B), manual, pp1-15, Response Cards, Response Forms, Summary Scoring Sheets. Pearson Assessment, Sydney, Australia. ISBN 1 874261 02 4

Many clinical conditions including acquired brain injury, frontotemporal dementia, developmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorders, psychiatric conditions, including schizophrenia lead to impairment in the ability to identify emotional expressions in others, deficits in the ability to understand the intentions and thoughts of others and problems understanding indirect language (such as sarcasm). These problems are disabling and a major target for remediation. TASIT was designed to provide a systematic assessment of these difficulties using naturalistic video vignettes employing professional actors in everyday exchanges. TASIT has three parts examining the ability to recognise basic emotions (Part 1) the ability to discern whether someone is being sincere or sarcastic (Part 2) and the ability to determine whether someone is lying or being sarcastic (Part 3). In parts 2 and 3 it is also possible to assess how well the participant can read the feelings, thoughts and intentions of the speakers.

Click here for presentation about TASIT including purchasing details

The Dice Game

McDonald, S. (1994) The Dice Game: a test of organisational skills in language. Sydney, School of Psychology UNSW

While people with brain damage may have adequate language ability, their capacity to communicate effectively can be impaired, especially as a result of executive dysfunction. The Dice Game is a communication task that provides a systematic assessment of how well one speaker can communicate to another. Click here for manual.

The Austin Maze

The Austin Maze is a spatial learning task that is based upon Milner's earlier work examining maze learning following brain lesions. The Australian version, originally developed for use at the Austin Hospital in Melbourne, traditionally comprised a mechanical box with a stepping stone maze and was a popular assessment tool for neuropsychologists although not always easy to make/acquire. This new version is a computer program that is easy to use and the path is easily modified for re-assessment.

To purchase http://www.assbi.com/assbiresources.html

REMEDIATION

Improving First Impressions: A Step-by-Step Social Skills Program

By Skye McDonald, Cristina Bornhofen, Leanne Togher, Sharon Flanagan, Paul Gertler and Rebecca Bowen

This manual provides detailed program notes and handouts for 12 sessions that address training of basic areas of social skills. The manual represents the cumulative efforts of a number of psychologists and speech pathologists working with people with severe traumatic brain injuries over 15 years. Although developed specifically for people with severe traumatic brain injuries, the techniques are generic, arising from a vast social skills literature. This manual is, however, specifically tailored for people with cognitive impairments, especially difficulties with new learning and executive control. Consequently, the manual encompasses a great deal of repetition and structure in order to maximise learning and minimise reliance upon complex cognitive strategies. Because of this, the manual has wider applications for people with any kind of clinical condition that results in cognitive impairment, including mild intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, schizophrenia, autism and Aspergers syndrome.

To purchase http://www.assbi.com/assbiresources.html

Reading a Smile (and Other Great Expressions): An Emotion Perception Treatment Program

By Bornhofen and McDonald

"Reading a Smile (and Other Great Expressions): An Emotion Perception Treatment Program" is a treatment kit designed to address emotion perception deficits. Originally designed for rehabilitation of people with traumatic brain injuries, the program has proven evidence for efficacy. The kit is also suitable for a range of clinical conditions including developmental conditions (such as Aspergers), psychiatric conditions (e.g. schizophrenia) and other forms of acquired or developmental brain injuries.

The kit provides a rich range of resources including colourful packs of photos of actors portraying emotions, a DVD with audiovisual vignettes of emotions and conversations, and game boards to engage and interact with clients. The kit comes complete with a step by step manual with detailed instructions for 14 therapeutic units and handouts.

To purchase http://www.assbi.com/assbiresources.html

TBI – Express: Social communication training for people with TBI and their communication partners

By Togher, McDonald , Tate, Power, Ylvisaker & Rietdijk

This exciting new practical resource, expected to be available in late 2010 is designed to provide speech pathologists and other health professionals with a comprehensive resource to improve the conversational skills of communication partners of people with TBI, and also to provide conversational skills training for people with TBI directly to improve everyday communication skills. Thus it entails two separate programs that are described in detail in a manual and CD.
The program for Everyday Communication Partners (ECP) comprises seven modules over 10 sessions. Each module is divided into pre-session preparation (aims, resources to bring, what to do before, during and after the session), and appendices including participant and home work handouts).
The program for people with TBI who attend treatment without a communication partner also comprises seven modules over 10 sessions. It is also divided into pre-session preparation (aims, resources to bring, what to do before, during and after the session), and appendices (participant and home work handouts).

To purchase http://www.assbi.com/assbiresources.html

Social Anxiety

Hodgeson, J., Tate, R., McDonald, S. & Gertler, P. (2003)

A CBT program for treating social anxiety in adults with traumatic brain injury. Sydney, School of Psychology UNSW.

For further information contact Skye McDonald: s.mcdonald@unsw.edu.au

 

 

 

 

EVIDENCE BASED PRACTICE


Database of research studies aimed at remediation after brain impairment

PsycBITE™ is a joint initiative between Skye McDonald, Robyn Tate (Sydney University) Michael Perdices (Royal North Shore Hospital), Leanne Togher and Anne Moseley (Sydney University). PsycBITE™ is a free database that includes all trials that have been published that evaluate treatment for any behavioural, communication, cognitive or psychological disorders arising from any form of acquired brain impairment in children (above the age of 5 years) and adults. As of May 2011 there are over 3000 treatment studies listed on PsycBITE™ with prospective searches being conducted on a regular basis.

To enter the database click http://www.psycbite.com

Ratings of methodological quality for group comparison trials

PsycBITE™ also provides a rating for the methodological rigor of each trial using the previously established PEDro scale (Maher, Sherrington, Herbert et al, 2003) for randomised controlled trials (RCT) and non-RCT group comparisons. For a copy of the PEDro-P scale click http://www.psycbite.com/docs/The_PEDro-P_Scale.pdf

Ratings of methodological quality for single subject treatment studies

A PsycBITE™ rating scale for single case experimental studies (SCED) has also been developed. This can be found at http://www.psycbite.com/docs/The_SCED_Scale.pdf

The Psychologist's Registration Board of New South Wales provided funding to the PsycBITE team to develop 150 summaries of rehabilitation treatments for the psychological consequences of acquired brain injury focusing on 10 types of problem areas (e.g., memory, communication), covering 10 types of neurological conditions (e.g., Alzheimer's disease, traumatic brain injury) across the lifespan.

The Rehabilitation Summaries provide ready access to evidence-based interventions, and may be an especially useful resource for supervisors and clinicians in situations where they are unfamiliar with the current literature, treat unusual conditions, practice in remote areas, or have limited access to resources. At the outset, it is emphasised that the aim of the rehabilitation summaries is not to replace the original article. Rather, the objective is to provide more detailed and targeted information than is commonly available in a journal abstract in order that the clinician and/or supervisor can quickly grasp the elements of the therapy program, the population with whom it is used, the target behaviours or clinical condition that was treated, efficacy of the therapy and the methodological quality of the trial. It is recommended that when a suitable study that meets the clinician's needs is identified, then the original article should be consulted.

The Australian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment (ASSBI)

ASSBI provides continuing education and workshops for all interested in brain impairment, from assessment through to remediation and community support.

Website: http://www.assbi.com