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The sudden change in functional capability and health status of stroke patients has a negative impact on family relationships and leisure activities 1 . Stroke is a primary cause of aphasia 2 and is also the leading cause of long-term disability 3. Stroke survivors frequently experience neurocognitive deficits, such as speech and language impairment. Due to the difficulties they face, they are unable to communicate effectively 4.

Cortical damage from a stroke is most commonly found on the left side of the brain in people with aphasia 5. Left-handed people may have less severe aphasia because up to 50% of them have bilateral hemispheric representation for language. Left-handed people with right-hemisphere dominance for language have a better prognosis than right-handed people with aphasia 6. Aphasia is defined by a person’s inability to access language form( e.g. reduced understanding and use of grammatical rules), content (e.g. trouble finding the right word to say), and use (e.g. reduced back and forth in conversations), as well as other cognitive processes that interact with language, such as memory, thinking, and attention7 . This impairs an individual’s ability to understand and use language, affecting modalities such as speaking, reading, and writing 6.

People with aphasia can recover spontaneously in the first few months after a stroke, but a significant number of people continue to have language problems for years8. Aside from stroke, aphasia can be caused by a head injury and, in some cases, can develop gradually as a result of a brain tumor or a progressive neurological disease 9. Aphasia can co-occur with speech disorders such as apraxia and dysarthria as a result of brain damage 7 .

People with aphasia have poor quality of life, which can last for years after a stroke6 . Aphasia is estimated to affect one-third of all stroke victims10.


  1. Lee H, Lee Y, Choi H, Pyun S. Community Integration and Quality of Life in Aphasia after Stroke. 2015;56(6):1694-1702.
  2. Howe T, Davidson B, Worrall L, et al. “You needed to rehab … families as well”: Family members’ own goals for aphasia rehabilitation. Int J Lang Commun Disord. 2012;47(5):511-521. doi:10.1111/j.1460-6984.2012.00159.x
  3. Lynch EB, Butt Z, Heinemann A, et al. A qualitative study of quality of life after stroke: The importance of social relationships. J Rehabil Med. 2008;40(7):518-523. doi:10.2340/16501977-0203
  4. McGilton K, Sorin-Peters R, Sidani S, Rochon E, Boscart V, Fox M. Focus on communication: increasing the opportunity for successful staff-patient interactions. Int J Older People Nurs. 2011;6(1):13-24. doi:10.1111/j.1748-3743.2010.00210.x
  5. Potagas,C.,Kasselimis,D,S.,& Evdokimidis I. Aphasia and related neurogenic communication disorders. In: Papathanasiou,I Coppens P, ed. Elements of Neurology Essential for Understanding the Aphasias. Second. Jones & Bartlett Publishers; 2017:56- 58.
  6. Papathanasiou I, Coppens P, Davidson B. Aphasia and Related Neurogenic Communication Disorders – Papathanasiou, Patrick Coppens – Google Books. Aphasia. Published 2017. Accessed December 4, 2017.
  7. Murray LL, Chapey R. Assessment of language disorders in adults. In: R.Chapey (Ed),Language Intervetion Strategies in Aphasia and Related Neurogenic Communication Disorders. 4th ed. Lippincott,Williams &Wilkins; 2001:55-126. Accessed June 24, 2018.
  8. Gialanella B. Aphasia assessment and functional outcome prediction in patients with aphasia after stroke. Published online 2011:343-349. doi:10.1007/s00415-010-5868-x
  9. Gillespie A, Hald J. The paradox of helping: Contradictory effects of scaffolding people with aphasia to communicate. PLoS One. 2017;12(8):1-26. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0180708
  10. Hilari K, Needle JJ, Harrison KL. What Are the Important Factors in Health-Related Quality of Life for People With Aphasia ? A Systematic Review. YAPMR. 2012;93(1):S86-S95.e4. doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2011.05.028

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