How do healthcare professionals experience communication with people with aphasia and what content should Communication Partner Training entail?

Authors Maren van Rijssen , Marloes Veldkamp , Els Bryon , Lianne Remijn , Anne Visser‑Meily , Ellen Gerrits , Lizet van Ewijk
Published in Disability and Rehabilitation
Publication date 2021
Research groups Speech and Language Therapy: Participation through communication
Type Article

Summary

Purpose: Aphasia after stroke has been shown to lead to communication difficulties between healthcare professionals (HCP) and people with aphasia. Clinical guidelines emphasize the importance of teaching HCP to use supportive conversative techniques through communication partner training (CPT). The aim of this study is to explore and describe the experiences of HCP in communicating with people with aphasia and their needs and wishes for the content in CPT. Materials and methods: The data were collected through qualitative semi-structured interviews with 17 HCP. HCP were recruited from two geriatric rehabilitation centres in the Netherlands and one academic hospital in Belgium. The interviews drew upon the qualitative research methodologies ethnography and phenomenology and were thematically analysed using the six steps of Braun & Clarke. Results: Three themes were derived from the interviews. HCP experienced that communication difficulties impede healthcare activities (theme 1) and reported the need to improve communication through organizational changes (theme 2), changing the roles of SLTs (theme 3) and increasing knowledge and skills of HCP (theme 4). Conclusions: According to HCP, communication difficulties challenge the provision of healthcare activities and lead to negative feelings in HCP. HCP suggest that communication can be improved by providing more time in the healthcare pathway of people with aphasia, adapting healthcare information to the needs of people with aphasia, commitment of physicians and managers, changing the roles of SLTs and improving knowledge and skills of HCP. Implications for rehabilitation Communication between healthcare professionals (HCP) and people with aphasia can be improved by training HCP to use supportive conversation techniques and tools. An important condition for successful implementation of communication partner trainings in healthcare centres is to identify the experiences of HCP with communication with people with aphasia and their needs and wishes for training content. This study shows that communication problems between HCP and people with aphasia impede diagnosis and therapy with considerable implications for healthcare quality. The suggestions that HCP have concerning the content of communication partner trainings can be placed under "education" and "implementation and post-training support." HCP describe specific roles for speech-and language therapists to fulfil after the training and suggest two main changes that should be made at an organizational level.

On this publication contributed

  • Maren van Rijssen | Researcher | Research group Speech and Language Therapy: Participation through communication
    Maren van Rijssen
    • Researcher
    • Research groups: Speech and Language Therapy: Participation through communication
  • Marloes Veldkamp | Researcher | Research group Speech and Language Therapy: Participation through communication
    Marloes Veldkamp
    • Researcher
    • Research groups: Speech and Language Therapy: Participation through communication
  • Ellen Gerrits | Professor | Research group Speech and Language Therapy: Participation through communication
    Ellen Gerrits
    • Professor
    • Research groups: Speech and Language Therapy: Participation through communication
  • Lizet van Ewijk | Researcher | Research group Speech and Language Therapy: Participation through communication
    Lizet van Ewijk
    • Researcher
    • Research groups: Speech and Language Therapy: Participation through communication

Language English
Published in Disability and Rehabilitation
Key words aphasia, health communication, health education, qualitative research
Digital Object Identifier 10.1080/09638288.2021.1878561
Page range 1-8

Maren van Rijssen

Maren van Rijssen | Researcher | Research group Speech and Language Therapy: Participation through communication

Maren van Rijssen

  • Researcher
  • Research group: Speech and Language Therapy: Participation through communication