Understanding the Impact of Speech-Language Therapy on the Quality of Life of People with Aphasia: A Collective Case Study

  • Author / Creator
    Wilson, Carlee F
  • Aphasia is a communication disorder caused by damage to areas in the brain responsible for language, resulting in speaking, understanding, reading, and writing difficulties. Speech- Language Pathologists (SLPs) provide various modalities of therapy for people with aphasia (PWA) through various modalities, including individual and group therapy. There is a paucity of research addressing how different modalities of therapy impact quality of life in PWA, particularly research studies employing qualitative methods. The purpose of this body of work was to gain an understanding of how different modalities of therapy impact quality of life from the perspective of PWA, incorporating qualitative methodology.
    This work consists of three integrated manuscripts in addition to introduction, methodology, and general discussion chapters. The first manuscript contributes a current review that examines how quality of life measures are used in studies considering the impact of group therapy on PWA. The second manuscript introduces the concept of supported communication and provides details on how to use these techniques to support the inclusion of PWA in qualitative research. The third manuscript explores the experiences of seven PWA involved in different modalities of therapy, and how each modality impacts outcome measures of language, quality of life, and mood. A collective case study was used to investigate participation in therapy and thoughts and feelings from PWA about their participation. Each case was analyzed using reflexive thematic analysis and concept maps. The themes of Impact of Covid-19, Meaning of Therapy, Comparisons, Social Connections, and Aphasia is a Journey were developed from the analysis. This dissertation contributes to mixed method research in aphasia and the knowledge base surrounding the impact of different therapy modalities on health-related quality of life. This work has implications for researchers and speech-language pathologists working with PWA. In addition, this work contributes to methodological and data collection discussions about conducting research with PWA.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2022
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Library with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.