The effects of Alberta Aphasia Camp on quality of life for people living with Aphasia

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  • Background: In aphasia therapy, there has been a shift in focus from impairment-level intervention towards ones focusing on enhancing life participation. Within Canada and the United States there exist several weekend camps that provide examples of participation-level interventions for people with aphasia (PWA); however there is presently limited evidence for the efficacy of camp-based models. Purpose: The purpose of the Alberta Aphasia Camp (ABAC) was to provide PWA and their care partners (CPs) the opportunity to experience therapy, recreational activities, respite, and to create social connections in a supported communication environment. The purpose of this research project was to examine the efficacy of a retreat-based treatment model as a means of increasing the quality of life and life activity/participation in PWA. Methods: ABAC was held at YoWoChAs Outdoor Education Center on September 12-14, 2014. Data from nine PWA and five CPs are reported here. Three assessment tools were used to gather pre- and post-camp data: the Assessment for Living with Aphasia (ALA), the Australian Therapy Outcome Measures (AusTOMs), and the Communicative Effectiveness Index (CETI). Outcomes & Results: Significant improvements were observed from pre- to post-camp on the ALA (participation domain, personal domain, composite score), the AusTOMS (expressive and receptive language impairment scales, cognitive-communication activity limitation scale) and the CETI. Conclusions: Attending ABAC was associated with significant positive effects for PWA across all measures, providing evidence to suggest that a weekend retreat is an efficacious intervention model for participation-level improvement for PWA and their CPs.

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    Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International