McKay  Sohlberg - University of Oregon. Eugene, OR, US

McKay Sohlberg McKay  Sohlberg

Department of Special Education and Clinical Sciences | University of Oregon

Eugene, OR, US

Expert in cognitive-communication disorders and brain injury rehabilitation



McKay  Sohlberg Publication McKay  Sohlberg Publication McKay  Sohlberg Publication



Demonstration: Systematic Instruction - McKay Sohlberg | MedBridge Communication Disorders and Sciences



McKay Moore Sohlberg is an Endowed Professor and director of the Communication Disorders and Sciences at University of Oregon. She is a Fellow of the American Speech Language and Hearing Association. Sohlberg’s research focuses on the development and evaluation of tools and therapies to assist individuals with acquired brain injuries optimally re-integrate into their communities. Sohlberg has published numerous articles, chapters, and manuals on managing cognitive impairments following acquired brain injury and is co-author of three leading textbooks in the field. She has been funded on a number of federal projects supporting the development and evaluation of assistive technology to deliver cognitive rehabilitation, and to help individuals with cognitive impairment increase independence and meaningful function.

Areas of Expertise (3)

Concussion management Remediation of Attention, Memory and Executive Function Disorders Selection and Training of Assistive Technology

Media Appearances (3)

Treating Concussions

Oregon Public Broadcasting's Think Out Loud  online


We’ll learn about new research into the power of support groups in healing concussions from University of Oregon professor McKay Sohlberg and concussion sufferer Sylvia Titterington.

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Microsoft Launches Digital Media Report for Advertisers

Campaign  online


The report, which can be downloaded from Microsoft’s website, was conducted on the company’s behalf by Sparkler – a brand consultancy – and surveyed 2,000 UK consumers. According to Microsoft, the study used McKay Moore Sohlberg and Catherine Mateers’s 1987 model of attention as its starting point.

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Slow & Steady, Step by Step

The ASHA Leader  online


Is it possible to teach executive-function skills to people who have brain injuries? Absolutely, says cognitive rehab clinical researcher McKay Sohlberg. She shares insights on how it’s possible to help these patients resume their daily routines.

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Articles (5)

Management of persistent cognitive symptoms after sports related concussion American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology


Purpose: This case review examines treatments speech-language pathologists at our clinic delivered to middle school, high school, and college students for the management of persistent cognitive symptoms after sport-related concussion. The goal is to examine a range of treatment options, describe clinical rationale for selecting those treatments, and report outcomes in order to identify feasible interventions for systematic evaluation through efficacy research.

Method: Review of clinic intake data identified 63 cases referred for cognitive rehabilitation over a 36-month period. Twenty-four cases (14 women and 10 men) met selection criteria, including documented sport-related concussion, postconcussion symptoms persisting at least 2 months with deleterious effect on school performance, and enrollment in secondary or postsecondary education. The authors independently coded demographics, treatment approaches, functional goal domains, and outcomes.

Results: Treatment approaches fell into 4 broad categories: direct attention training, metacognitive strategy training, training assistive technology for cognition, and psychoeducational supports. Eighty-three percent of clients achieved self-selected functional goals.

Conclusions: Research has focused primarily on return to play and provision of academic accommodations in the initial weeks following concussion. Findings from this case series suggest that speech-language pathologists can deliver individualized interventions that lead to positive clinical outcomes. The authors hope findings encourage efficacy research.

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Proposed criteria for appraising goal attainment scales used as outcome measures in rehabilitation research Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation


Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS) is a method for writing personalized evaluation scales to quantify progress toward defined rehabilitation goals. In the published literature, GAS methodology is used with different levels of rigor, ranging from precisely written GAS scales that ensure minimal bias and explicitly describe 5 levels of goal attainment to subjective ratings of goal attainment by adjectives (eg, worse/better than expected), which are transformed into a T score, wrongly giving the reader the impression of a truly standardized, interval scale. A drawback of GAS methodology is that it is highly dependent on the ability of the GAS setting team/person to generate valid, reliable, and meaningful scales; therefore, reliability and validity of GAS scales are idiosyncratic to each study. The aims of this article were to (1) increase awareness of potential sources of bias in GAS processes; (2) propose GAS quality appraisal criteria, allowing judgment of the quality of GAS methodology in individual rehabilitation studies; and (3) propose directions to improve GAS implementation to increase its reliability and validity as a research measurement tool. Our proposed quality appraisal criteria are based on critical appraisal of GAS literature and published GAS validity studies that have demonstrated that precision, validity, and reliability can be obtained when using GAS as an outcome measure in clinical trials. We recommend that authors using GAS report accurately how GAS methodology was used based on these criteria.

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Evaluation of a reading comprehension strategy used to improve reading comprehension of adult college students with acquired brain injury Neuropsychological Rehabilitation


Adults with mild to moderate acquired brain injury (ABI) often pursue post-secondary or professional education after their injuries in order to enter or re-enter the job market. An increasing number of these adults report problems with reading-to-learn. The problem is particularly concerning given the growing population of adult survivors of ABI. Despite the rising need, empirical evaluation of reading comprehension interventions for adults with ABI is scarce. This study used a within-subject design to evaluate whether adult college students with ABI with no more than moderate cognitive impairments benefited from using reading comprehension strategies to improve comprehension of expository text. Integrating empirical support from the cognitive rehabilitation and special education literature, the researchers designed a multi-component reading comprehension strategy package. Participants read chapters from an introductory-level college anthropology textbook in two different conditions: strategy and no-strategy. The results indicated that reading comprehension strategy use was associated with recall of more correct information units in immediate and delayed free recall tasks; more efficient recall in the delayed free recall task; and increased accuracy recognising statements from a sentence verification task designed to reflect the local and global coherence of the text. The findings support further research into using reading comprehension strategies as an intervention approach for the adult ABI population. Future research needs include identifying how to match particular reading comprehension strategies to individuals, examining whether reading comprehension performance improves further through the incorporation of systematic training, and evaluating texts from a range of disciplines and genres.

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Evidence-based practice for the use of internal memory strategies: A systematic review Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation


Objective: To complete a systematic review of internal memory strategy use with people who have brain injury and provide practitioners with information that will impact their clinical work.

Methods: A systematic literature search to identify published intervention studies that evaluated an internal memory strategy or technique to improve memory function of individuals with brain injury. Relevant data from reviewed articles were coded using 4 clinical questions targeting participants, interventions, research methods, and outcomes.

Results: A comprehensive search identified 130 study citations and abstracts. Forty-six met inclusion/exclusion criteria and were systematically reviewed. Visual imagery was most frequently studied, in isolation or in combination with other internal strategies. Despite significant variability in research methods and outcomes across studies, the evidence provides impetus for use of internal memory strategies with individuals following brain injury.

Conclusions: Individuals with traumatic brain injury may benefit from internal memory strategy use, and clinicians should consider internal memory strategy instruction as part of intervention plans. Further research needs to better delineate influences on intervention candidacy and outcomes.

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Cognitive intervention for attention and executive function impairments in children with traumatic brain injury: A pilot study Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation

Objective: To test the effectiveness of the Attention Improvement and Management (AIM) program, a cognitive intervention for improving impairments in attention and executive functions (EFs) after pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Setting: Tertiary care children's hospital.

Participants: A total of 13 children with complicated mild-to-severe TBI (average of 5 years postinjury) and 11 healthy comparison children aged 9 to 15 years completed the study.

Design: Open-label pilot study with a nontreated control group.

Main Measures: Subtests from the Test of Everyday Attention-for Children (TEA-Ch) and the Delis–Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS), the self- and parent-report from the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF), and the Goal Attainment Scale (GAS).

Results: Relative to the healthy comparison group, children with TBI demonstrated significant improvement postintervention on a neuropsychological measure of sustained attention, as well as on parent-reported EFs. The majority of families also reported expected or more-than-expected personalized goal attainment.

Conclusions: The study provides preliminary evidence for the effectiveness of AIM in improving parent-reported EFs and personalized real-world goal attainment in children with TBI.

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