PhD Candidate, School of Humanities & Social Science
Faculty/Division: Education and Arts
Discipline: Speech Pathology
Location: General Purpose Building, Room GP217
Campus: Callaghan Campus, Newcastle
Cognitive-communication disorder is a common consequence of traumatic brain injury, and may persist long-term. This can have an impact on social relationships and employment. Post-traumatic amnesia (PTA) is an early stage in recovery after injury, characterised by confusion and memory and behaviour disruption. This state may last for minutes or over several weeks or months. During PTA the person may be communicating in a confused and unusual way. The purpose of this research is to increase understanding of the nature of communication disorder during this period, by examining the cognitive-communication functioning of people while they are still in PTA, and at three months after PTA emergence. At present, there is little information about the types of communication difficulties people experience during PTA, or how these resolve after injury. Early identification of communication problems may improve speech pathology service planning and help people with traumatic brain injury at risk of developing long-term social communication difficulties.
- 2010 PhD Candidate, University of Newcastle
- BSPath (Honours First Class) University of Newcastle
- BA (Hons) Fine Art, London University Goldsmiths College
Awards and Prizes
- 2010 University Medal and Faculty Medal in Speech Pathology
- 2010 Australian Postgraduate Award
- 2010 Speech Pathology Australia Student Award for outstanding achievement
- 2009 Vice Chancellor's Honours Scholarship for academic excellence
- 2009 Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Honours Scholarship
Conference presentations and proceedings
Steel, J., Ferguson, A., Spencer, E., & Togher, L. (2013). Speech pathologists' current practice with cognitive-communication assessment during post-traumatic amnesia: A survey. Brain Injury. [In press] doi: 10.3109/02699052.2013.775492
Steel, J., Ferguson, A., Spencer, E., & Togher, L. (2013). Platform presentation: Cognitive-communication recovery during post-traumatic amnesia: A case study. 36th Annual Brain Impairment Conference, Australian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment (ASSBI), Hobart, 2nd - 4th May, 2013.
Steel, J., Ferguson, A., & Spencer, E. Togher (2012) Poster presentation: What do speech pathologists do with cognitive-communication during post-traumatic amnesia? A survey. 15th International Aphasia Rehabilitation Conference: Melbourne, 7th -10th October 2012
Steel, J., Ferguson, A., & Spencer, E. (2011, June). Cognitive-linguistic assessment following traumatic brain injury: A critical review of the literature. Paper presented at the Speech Pathology Australia National Conference 2011, Darwin, Australia.
Steel, J., Ferguson, A., & Spencer, E. (2010, May). High-level language assessment following traumatic brain injury: Methods in clinical practice. Abstracts of the 33rd Brain Impairment Conference, May 6-8, 2010, Gold Coast. Brain Impairment, 11, 46-90.
Membership of Professional Networks
- CCRE Aphasia Research (Centre for Clinical Excellence): Research Higher Degree Student Affiliate
- Moving Ahead: Centre of Research Excellence in Brain Recovery, Research Affiliate
- Speech Pathology Australia
- Australian Association for the Study of Brain Impairment (ASSBI)
- Speech Pathology in Brain Injury Interest Group (SPBIIG)
- NSW Evidence Based Practice - Hunter Adult Acquired Communication Impairment Group