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Moderate to severe traumatic brain injury causes significant cognitive impairments, including impairments in social cognition, the ability to recognize others' emotions, and infer others' thoughts. These cognitive impairments can have profound negative effects on communication functions, resulting in a cognitive-communication disorder. Cognitive-communication disorders can significantly limit a person's ability to socialize, work, and study, and thus are critical targets for intervention. This article presents the updated INCOG 2.0 recommendations for management of cognitive-communication disorders. As social cognition is central to cognitive-communication disorders, this update includes interventions for social cognition.


An expert panel of clinicians/researchers reviewed evidence published since 2014 and developed updated recommendations for interventions for cognitive-communication and social cognition disorders, a decision-making algorithm tool, and an audit tool for review of clinical practice.


Since INCOG 2014, there has been significant growth in cognitive-communication interventions and emergence of social cognition rehabilitation research. INCOG 2.0 has 9 recommendations, including 5 updated INCOG 2014 recommendations, and 4 new recommendations addressing cultural competence training, group interventions, telerehabilitation, and management of social cognition disorders. Cognitive-communication disorders should be individualized, goal- and outcome-oriented, and appropriate to the context in which the person lives and incorporate social communication and communication partner training. Group therapy and telerehabilitation are recommended to improve social communication. Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) should be offered to the person with severe communication disability and their communication partners should also be trained to interact using AAC. Social cognition should be assessed and treated, with a focus on personally relevant contexts and outcomes.


The INCOG 2.0 recommendations reflect new evidence for treatment of cognitive-communication disorders, particularly social interactions, communication partner training, group treatments to improve social communication, and telehealth delivery. Evidence is emerging for the rehabilitation of social cognition; however, the impact on participation outcomes needs further research.


This article was originally published in Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, volume 38, issue 1, in 2023.

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