Authors: Ross A, Winslow I, Marchant P, Brumfitt S
Title: Evaluation of Communication, Life Participation and Psychological Well-Being in Chronic Aphasia: The Influence of Group Intervention
Source: Aphasiology 2006 20(6): 427-448
Year: 2006
Research Design: Case Series

BACKGROUND: The impact of change in communication, life participation, and psychological well-being in aphasia is recognised but still not fully explored. Further, considerable scope exists to address these factors within the context of intervention. Innovative practices and group intervention are advocated for people with chronic aphasia but detail and evidence remains limited. AIMS: To explore the experience of aphasia within the context of communication, life participation and psychological well-being and evaluate the outcomes of these phenomena in people with chronic aphasia following participation in a group intervention involving a social model approach. METHODS AND PROCEDURES: A group of seven people with chronic moderate aphasia were assessed on communication measures, by means of the Conversational Analysis Profile for People with Aphasia (CAPPA), and aspects of psychological well-being, by means of The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and The Visual Analogue Self-esteem Scale (VASES) pre, post, and at 3-month follow-up of a group intervention. The group involved a social model approach and the use of Total Communication to support conversation. Speech and language therapy and social care personnel, including an equality disability trainer, contributed to the group. OUTCOMES AND RESULTS: Although variation in individual participants was demonstrated, results showed evidence of statistically significant beneficial change in conversation experiences (many of these related to life participation) and, to a lesser degree, beneficial change in conversation abilities. Additionally there were beneficial changes for some participants on psychological well-being measures. Due to the small sample, participant variation, and (in the case of psychological well-being measures) the lack of evidence of serious reduction in psychological well-being at the outset, the results have to be evaluated with caution. CONCLUSIONS: Appropriately planned group intervention can produce benefits in conversation, life participation, and psychological well-being in chronic aphasia.

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