Research Reports - Text-to-speech accommodations for the reading challenges of adults with traumatic brain injury

Brain Inj. 2015 May 8:1-10

Harvey J(1), Hux K

OBJECTIVE: This study's purpose was two-fold: (a) to confirm differences in
silent reading rates of individuals with and without traumatic brain injury (TBI)
and (b) to determine the effect of text-to-speech (TTS) on reading comprehension
and efficiency by individuals with TBI.
DESIGN AND METHODS: Ten adults with severe TBI answered comprehension questions
about written passages presented in three conditions: reading only (RO),
listening to TTS presentation only (LO) or reading and listening to TTS
simultaneously (RL). The researchers compared reading rate, comprehension
accuracy and comprehension rate (efficiency) across conditions.
RESULTS: Analysis revealed significantly slower silent reading rates for the
participants with TBI than for readers without TBI (n = 75). Also, participants
with TBI achieved higher comprehension accuracy for factual than inferential
questions; however, no significant main effect for comprehension accuracy emerged
across reading conditions. In contrast, using comprehension rate as the dependent
measure, analysis confirmed a significant main effect for reading condition and
question type; post-hoc pairwise comparisons revealed that the RL condition
yielded higher comprehension rate scores than the RO condition.
CONCLUSIONS: As a group, adults with TBI appear to benefit in reading efficiency
when simultaneously listening to and reading written passages; however,
differences exist that reinforce the importance of individualizing treatment.

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