||Lyon J, Cariski D, Keisler L, Rosenbek J, Levine R, Kumpula J, Ryff C, Coyne S, Blanc M
Communication partners is a novel aphasia treatment plan whose aim is to restore a sense of purpose, direction, and control to daily life for both patient and caregiver. Treatment involves the participation of a community volunteer who, once paired with an aphasic adult, acts as a liaison in bridging clinical and real-life pursuits. Initially, treatment pairs are taught how to interact freely and effectively. Once comfortable in each other's company these partners embark on activities of the patient's choosing at home or in the community. Results from 10 treated pairs failed to yield significant differences on the Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Exmamination, Communication Abilities in Daily Living, or the Affect Balance Scale. However, all participants, i.e. patients, caregivers, and communication partners, noted statistically significant gains in the aphasic adult's well-being and communication on two investigator-constructed questionnaires. Other informal measures also supported the use of this treatment. The significance of these findings, as well as methodological considerations when undertaking this type of research, are discussed.