Volunteer perceptions of supporting people with acquired aphasia - exploring possible implications for further training needs
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Background: Volunteer conversation partners have been shown to be beneficial, in line with the social model of disability, to improve quality of life (QOL) and life participation. However, little research has been conducted that examines volunteers’ perceptions of their role as communication partner. Aims: To investigate Stoke Association communication support group (CSG) volunteers’ perceptions of their role in successfully facilitating conversation between themselves and PWA. It is hoped results with highlight areas where volunteers would benefit from further training. Method: Four volunteers from a voluntary lead Stroke Association (SA) CSG were interviewed. Data was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) and a number of important themes emerged. Results: Findings demonstrate volunteers’ awareness of a number of important topics relating to conversations with PWA, and volunteers’ appreciation of barriers and facilitators during conversations. However, the findings were less consistent in relation to perceptions of dealing with conversational breakdowns. Some participants felt unprepared to volunteer before they began. Conclusion: A training need was established through in regards to dealing with conversation breakdown and feeling prepared to converse with a wide range of aphasic presentations.
B.Sc. (Hons) Speech and Language Therapy
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