According to the WHO´snew ICF classification framework, one of the main goals in rehabilitation is toenable the client to live an active life and to participate in all lifesituations. In the rehabilitation of communication impaired persons this aimhas created a shift from the medical model towards a social model ofrehabilitation. In this model thecommunication hindrances caused by the surrounding environment as well as thefunctional communication abilities of the client are considered.
A stroke can cause aphasia. If theaphasia is very severe, these persons can speak only little, or not at all. Theaim of this study was to investigate how the communication abilities of suchaphasic people and their significant others change during a course ofrehabilitation. In these courses people with aphasia were activated to useaugmentative and alternative communication methods, and the significant otherswere guided to support the communication of their aphasic partners.
The participants comprised 53 aphasicpeople and 52 significant others. The data was collected with a self-assessmentmethod. The participants evaluated their communication abilities withquestionnaires three times in a ten-month period. The questionnaires foraphasic people included pictures to help their understanding.
The results showed that thefunctional communication abilities of people with severe and moderate aphasiaimproved, and that they began to use spontaneous augmentative communicationmethods more than they did before the course. The significant others began tosupport their communication more, albeit slightly less strongly over time.According to these results it is very important that significant othersparticipate in the rehabilitation of aphasic partners.
Key words: aphasiatherapy, augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), functionalcommunication, ICF, social model of rehabilitation, rehabilitation course
|Publication status||Published - 2005|
|MoE publication type||G4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)|
- Aphasia therapy