Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Epidemiology and Biostatistics


Kathy Nixon Speechley

2nd Supervisor

Charles Weijer

Joint Supervisor


Neuroimaging has been utilized to establish communication, using a brain-computer interface, with select patients with severe brain injuries and profound communication impairments. Due to the severe injuries sustained by these patients, traditional techniques used to develop quality of life instruments cannot be used. The Aware Study used a novel approach to establish the key dimensions for assessing the quality of life of patients who can only communicate using this sophisticated technology. Consensus methodology was employed, with the assistance of a multidisciplinary panel of experts, to collectively decide which dimensions are essential for the inclusion in a quality of life instrument for these unique patients.