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Communication difficulties and use of communication strategies: from the perspective of individuals with aphasia
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Research in Disability and Habilitation.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Sciences.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Sciences.
2012 (English)In: International journal of language and communication disorders, ISSN 1368-2822, E-ISSN 1460-6984, Vol. 47, no 2, 144-155 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background:

To enhance communicative ability and thereby the possibility of increased participation of persons with aphasia, the use of communication strategies has been proposed. However, little is known about how persons with aphasia experience having conversations and how they perceive their own and their conversation partner's use of communication strategies.

Aims:

To explore how people with aphasia experience having conversations, how they handle communication difficulties, and how they perceive their own and their communication partners’ use of communication strategies.

Methods & Procedures:

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with four women and seven men with chronic aphasia (n = 11). Interviews were video-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed by qualitative content analysis.

Outcomes & Results:

Informants appreciated having conversations despite the fact that they perceived their aphasia as a serious hindrance. Different factors related to the informants, the conversation partners, the conversation itself and the physical environment were perceived to impact on conversations. The importance of the communication partners’ knowledge and understanding of aphasia and their use of supporting conversation strategies were acknowledged by the informants. The informants’ views on using communication aid devices or strategies varied considerably. Four themes that characterized the informants’ narratives were: loss and frustration, fear and uncertainty, shared responsibility based on knowledge, and longing for the past or moving forward.

Conclusions & Implications:

The informants longed to regain their former language ability and role as an active participant in society. To enhance participation of persons with aphasia, it is suggested that communication partner training should be an important and integral part of aphasia rehabilitation. Important elements of such training are reflecting on communication behaviours, training in real-life situations, and acknowledging each individual's special needs and preferences. To deal with the consequences of aphasia, counselling and psychological support may be needed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 47, no 2, 144-155 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-159493DOI: 10.1111/j.1460-6984.2011.00089.xISI: 000300772000003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-159493DiVA: diva2:445130
Available from: 2011-10-03 Created: 2011-10-03 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Aphasia and Communication in Everyday Life: Experiences of persons with aphasia, significant others, and speech-language pathologists
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Aphasia and Communication in Everyday Life: Experiences of persons with aphasia, significant others, and speech-language pathologists
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aims of this thesis were to describe the experiences of persons with aphasia and their significant others of their conversations and use of communication strategies, examine current practice of family-oriented speech-language pathology (SLP) services, and test a family-oriented intervention in the early phase of rehabilitation.

The persons with aphasia valued having conversations despite perceiving their aphasia as a serious social disability. They acknowledged the importance of the communication partners’ knowledge and understanding of aphasia and their use of supporting conversation strategies. Their own use of communication strategies varied considerably. The persons with aphasia longed to regain language ability and to be active participants in society.

A majority of the significant others perceived their conversations with the person with aphasia as being less stimulating and enjoyable than conversations before stroke onset. Aphasia was considered a serious problem. The significant others took on increased communicative responsibility, where two thirds had changed their communicative behaviour to facilitate conversations. Type and severity of aphasia were especially related to the communicative experiences of the significant others and their motivation to be involved in SLP services.

Thirty percent of the speech-language pathologists worked with people with aphasia and typically met with their families. They considered the involvement of significant others in SLP services as very important, especially in providing information about aphasia and communication partner training (CPT). However, involvement of significant others was restricted because of a time shortage and perceived limited skills and knowledge. In addition, there were national differences regarding aphasia rehabilitation services.

The intervention consisted of three sessions directed to significant others (primarily emotional support and information) and three directed to the dyads (a person with aphasia and a significant other) (primarily CPT). All six participants (three dyads) felt that their knowledge and understanding of aphasia had increased and that their conversations had improved. These improvements were also evident to some extent with formal assessments.

These results suggest the following: CPT should be an integral part of SLP services, national clinical guidelines are needed, and further education of speech-language pathologists and implementation of new knowledge into clinical practice requires consideration.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2012. 101 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 776
Keyword
Aphasia, Significant others, Interpersonal communication, Communication strategies, Communication partner training, Speech-language pathology services
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
Medical Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-173130 (URN)978-91-554-8372-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-06-08, Gustavianum, Akademigatan 3, Uppsala, 09:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-05-16 Created: 2012-04-19 Last updated: 2012-08-01Bibliographically approved

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Blom Johansson, MonicaCarlsson, MarianneSonnander, Karin

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