"The Stroke Group Volunteer: A three-stage analysis of their role in facilitating conversation with individuals with aphasia"
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Background: Amongst other requirements, the role of the stroke group volunteer necessitates a grasp of relevant communicative strategies to combat the difficulties associated with aphasia (Shadden and Agan, 2004). The limited provision of volunteer training schemes makes it difficult to determine if these recommendations are being met. Aims: To provide a comprehensive investigation of the volunteer’s role in facilitating a conversation with an individual with aphasia. Methods & Procedures: A single case study was completed surrounding the performance and perspectives of a volunteer (V). Three stages of data collection were employed to allow a thorough analysis of V’s role including: (1) Interaction; (2) Playback; (3) Semi-Structured Interview. All three stages were analysed and compared to establish the major themes. Outcomes & Results: The volunteer showed a good understanding of the social issues that accompany the difficulties of living with aphasia. She also demonstrated some knowledge and awareness of communicative strategies through the techniques she adopted in the interaction. However some difficulties were apparent in her knowledge of language deficits in aphasia and management of conversational breakdowns. Conclusions: This study illustrates that experience may lead to some spontaneous development in the volunteer role. However, formal training methods might need to be considered if volunteers are to acquire the variety of skills recommended in the literature.
B.Sc.(Hons) Speech and Language Therapy
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