Communication changes and SLP-services according to significant others of persons with aphasia
2012 (English)In: Aphasiology, ISSN 0268-7038, E-ISSN 1464-5041, Vol. 26, no 8, 1005-1028 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Background: Significant others are important to persons with aphasia. For several reasons they should be involved in speech-language pathology (SLP) services, including acquiring facilitating communicative strategies and receiving support. In order to further adapt SLP services there is a need to know the perceptions and views of the significant others. Little is known about how they perceive changes in communication as well as received SLP services and in what way they want to be involved in these services.
Aims: The study aimed to investigate which communicative changes significant others of persons with aphasia had experienced after a stroke event and to what extent these changes were experienced. A further aim was to describe the significant others’ experiences of SLP services and their motivation to participate in these services. Finally, the significant others’ experiences were compared in terms of sex, age, type of relationship, time since stroke onset, and type and severity of aphasia.
Methods & Procedures: An 80-item study-specific questionnaire was answered by 173 significant others of persons with aphasia living throughout Sweden (response rate 69%). Of these, 33% were male and 67% female. Mean age was 64.2 years (range 33–87 years) and 85.5% of the participants were a cohabiting partner to a person with aphasia.
Outcomes & Results: A total of 64% of participants perceived their conversations as being less stimulating and enjoyable compared with conversations before stroke onset. Aphasia was considered a substantial or very substantial problem by 64%. The participants took on an increased communicative responsibility, and 70% had changed their communicative behaviour in order to facilitate conversations. A total of 75% (n = 130) had met with the SLP of the person with aphasia. Of those, 63% perceived their own support from SLP services to be adequate; 87% considered language ability training as the most important SLP service. Type and severity of aphasia were especially related to the communicative experiences of the participants and their motivation to be involved in SLP services.
Conclusions: The substantial decrease from pre- to post-stroke regarding enjoyment and meaningfulness of conversations suggests the need to further improve SLP services in order to help the people in question communicate at an optimal level. We suggest that clinicians should put more emphasis on explaining the benefits and availability of different kinds of aphasia rehabilitation services, such as functional communication training and communication partner training in addition to language ability training.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 26, no 8, 1005-1028 p.
Aphasia, Significant others, Interpersonal communication, Communication strategies, Speech-language pathology services
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-170408DOI: 10.1080/02687038.2012.671927ISI: 000306607000003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-170408DiVA: diva2:509106