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Clinicians’ views and practices in quality of life in aphasia rehabilitation: a preliminary study

Cruice, M. ORCID: 0000-0001-7344-2262 and Ten Kate, O. (2019). Clinicians’ views and practices in quality of life in aphasia rehabilitation: a preliminary study. Aphasiology, doi: 10.1080/02687038.2019.1632787

Abstract

Background: Quality of life (QOL) is important to people with aphasia and their family members and is influenced by a range of factors within the scope of practice for speech and language therapy. Interestingly though, clinicians largely assess patients’/ clients’ QOL informally through discussion, and rarely measure QOL as an outcome from aphasia rehabilitation. Research is needed to understand why there is relatively little consideration of QOL in clinical practice and little use of formal assessments.

Aims: This study explores aphasia clinicians’ views and reported practices regarding QOL as a concept and its assessment.

Methods & Procedures: Nineteen practising speech and language therapists working in rehabilitation with adult clients with neurogenic communication disorders volunteered and completed the study. They completed an online survey of 48 questions with a range of response options, including free text. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used for count and categorical data, and content analysis for text responses.

Outcomes & Results: These clinicians felt initially unprepared for practice, and had limited awareness, knowledge and confidence in using QOL assessments, but nonetheless thought QOL was important in clinical management. They considered QOL as being individualized, pertaining to life satisfaction and enjoyment, and additionally considered it as communication, participation in activities, education, and emotional support. The majority used informal methods, although some formal assessment use was reported. Many perceived barriers related to lack of resources (physical, staff, and time). Clinicians also reported scope of practice issues with the broader multidisciplinary rehabilitation team and specifically clinical psychology.

Conclusions: Training and access to existing available QOL assessments are clear implications from this study. Further research is needed to assess the extent to which these findings are representative of the broader aphasia clinician community in England.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Aphasiology on 3 July 2019, available online: https://doi.org/10.1080/02687038.2019.1632787.
Publisher Keywords: Quality of life, wellbeing, clinical expertise, aphasia, speech and language therapist
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Departments: School of Health Sciences > Language & Communication Science
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/22454
[img] Text - Accepted Version
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[img] Text (Table 1) - Accepted Version
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[img] Text (Figure 1) - Accepted Version
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