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The public awareness and knowledge of aphasia in Saudi Arabia

Alyahya, R. S. W. ORCID: 0000-0002-2766-2915 (2023). The public awareness and knowledge of aphasia in Saudi Arabia. Aphasiology, 38(8), pp. 1377-1389. doi: 10.1080/02687038.2023.2287262


Background: Public awareness of aphasia is essential to ensure that people with aphasia receive the support and understanding they need. Previous studies in non-Arabic speaking countries have found a universally low level of aphasia awareness and knowledge.

Aims: For the first time, the public awareness and knowledge of aphasia in Saudi Arabia was examined in this study. Additionally, the influence of demographic factors (i.e., age, gender, education, socio-economic status, and city of residency) on the levels of aphasia awareness and knowledge were investigated.

Methods: The target sample size was estimated a priori using power analysis, and thus the current study had the largest sample size compared to other public aphasia awareness studies published to date. A total of 1631 members of the public completed an online survey using an adapted version of the public awareness of aphasia questionnaire.

Results: 20.48% of the respondents had heard of aphasia, of whom only 4.79% had correct basic knowledge of aphasia in relation to its features and causes. Aphasia awareness was influenced by demographic factors, including age, level of education, and socio-economic status, whilst demographic factors did not have an influence on aphasia knowledge. Interestingly, there was a prevalent belief that aphasia can improve, with Speech-Language Therapy being the most frequently chosen treatment option, followed by psychotherapy. Conclusions: Although aphasia awareness in Saudi Arabia was slightly higher than has been observed in some non-Arab countries, aphasia awareness and knowledge remain low despite several aphasia awareness campaigns carried out across multiple countries over the past two decades. These results highlight the need to develop action plans not only to raise public awareness of aphasia, but to educate the public on the nature of aphasia. This could be accomplished through international collaborations to raise aphasia awareness and knowledge. Future initiatives must be directed towards providing adequate aphasia education to families and the general public by healthcare providers.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.
Publisher Keywords: aphasia, awareness, knowledge, public, Saudi Arabia
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Language & Communication Science
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