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Communication Partners Of People With Aphasia

Family members are the most important communication partners for people with aphasia1 . Family members of people with aphasia tend to cope with new responsibilities by taking on new roles in addition to other responsibilities, and they also serve as translators for the person with aphasia2. Spouses are more affected than other relatives3. Despite their lack of knowledge about aphasia and stroke 4, spouses noted the individual’s frustration in attempting to help the individual with aphasia 5 and perceived them to be demanding, immature, and anxious 3. However, relatives are unprepared to deal with the unexpected and permanent changes brought on by aphasia3. They have a psychological separation from the person with aphasia6, emphasizing the effect of aphasia and describing the situation as irritating, tiring, stressful, and discouraging3 . They witnessed these communication difficulties occasionally erupt into rage and, on occasion, violence 7. Despite this, their emotions and feelings were ignored because the person suffering from a stroke was regarded as a ‘patient’ 8.

A study examined the positive effects of aphasia on family members, and its findings, which were mapped to the International Classification of Functioning and Disability (ICF), indicated improved relationships between family members and people with aphasia. This was characterized by hopefulness, appreciation for life, improved relationships with other family members, physical attraction, and participation in social events, among other things9.


  1. Johansson MB, Carlsson M, Sonnander K. Working with families of persons with aphasia: a survey of Swedish speech and language pathologists. Disability and Rehabilitation. 2011;33(1):51-62. doi:10.3109/09638288.2010.486465
  2. Howe T, Davidson B, Worrall L, et al. “You needed to rehab … families as well”: Family members’ own goals for aphasia rehabilitation. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders. 2012;47(5):511-521. doi:10.1111/j.1460-6984.2012.00159.x
  3. Le Dorze G, Brassard C. A description of the consequences of aphasia on aphasic persons and their relatives and friends, based on the WHO model of chronic diseases. Aphasiology. 1995;9(3):239-255. doi:10.1080/02687039508248198
  4. Avent J, Glista S, Wallace S, Jackson J, Nishioka J, Yip W. Family information needs about aphasia. Aphasiology. 2005;19(3-5):365-375. doi:10.1080/02687030444000813
  5. Müller DJ, Code C, Mugford J. Predicting Psychosocial Adjustment to Aphasia. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders. 1983;18(1):23-29. doi:10.3109/13682828309012231
  6. Code C, Muller DJ, Herrmann M. Perceptions of psychosocial adjustment to aphasia: applications of the Code–Muller Protocols. Seminars in Speech and Language. 1999;20(1):51-62; quiz 63. doi:10.1055/s-2008-1064008
  7. Parr S. Living with severe aphasia: Tracking social exclusion. Aphasiology. 2007;21(1):98- 123. doi:10.1080/02687030600798337
  8. Anderson S, Marlett NJ. Communication in stroke: The overlooked rehabilitation tool. Age Ageing. 2004;33(5):440-443. doi:10.1093/ageing/afh163
  9. Grawburg M, Howe T, Worrall L, Scarinci N. A systematic review of the positive outcomes for family members of people with aphasia. Evidence- Based Communication Assessment and Intervention. 2012;6(3):135-149. doi:10.1080/17489539.2012.739383

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