Nonverbal communication of trauma patients in a state of minimal consciousness

Anna Rasmus , Jolanta Góral-Półrola , Edyta Orłowska , Monika Wiłkość-Dębczyńska , Celestyna Grzywniak


Introduction: In spite of the rapid development in various communication-support technologies for those waking up from a coma, studies describing the sole process of econstructing communication in this group of patients are scarce. Objective: The aim of this study was to analyze communication reactions in a minimal state of consciousness and describe the nonverbal behaviours characteristic for each stages significant for the therapy of communication. Material and methods: 18 severely brain-injured patients in a minimal state of consciousness participated in the half-year observation study, which included people experiencing at least 4 weeks of consciousness disorder/coma. Age of patients 25±5 years. Psychological assessment included: observation of various attempts of communications undertaken by patients, caregivers and family interview, the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) and Individual Communication Sheet. Results: Data analysis showed a significant increase in preverbal communication, both in primal and sensory areas when compared between Stage II (GCS=6–8 points) and Stage III (GCS=9–12 points). After a time, primary communication reached a high level. Patients produced communication attempts from the behaviour organization level, and an increase in the nonverbal communication level was noted. Based on observations, nonverbal communication profiles for each stage of waking up from a coma were introduced. Conclusions: It was found that in the process of waking up from a coma the patients communicate with the use of the preverbal level of primal communication, the sensory and behaviour organization activities. The characteristics of the communication reactions show that in Stage III there is a significant increase in two preverbal communication areas: primal and sensory acts, when compared with Stage II.
Author Anna Rasmus
Anna Rasmus,,
, Jolanta Góral-Półrola
Jolanta Góral-Półrola,,
, Edyta Orłowska (FSS/IPsych/DGPsych)
Edyta Orłowska,,
- Division of General Psychology
, Monika Wiłkość-Dębczyńska
Monika Wiłkość-Dębczyńska,,
, Celestyna Grzywniak
Celestyna Grzywniak,,
Journal seriesAnnals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine, ISSN 1232-1966, (N/A 70 pkt)
Issue year2019
Publication size in sheets0.50
Keywords in Englishtraumatic brain injury, awareness, coma, microgenetic theory, body language
ASJC Classification2739 Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health; 1105 Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics; 2311 Waste Management and Disposal
Languagepl polski
LicenseJournal (articles only); published final; Other open licence; with publication
Score (nominal)70
Score sourcejournalList
ScoreMinisterial score = 70.0, 11-02-2020, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators WoS Citations = 1.000; Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2018 = 0.755; WoS Impact Factor: 2018 = 1.030 (2) - 2018=1.277 (5)
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