How aphasia affects quality of life and identity: a family member’s perspective
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Background: The impact of aphasia is frequently recognised for the person with aphasia (PWA), but there has been little research focusing on how the life of family members of PWA are affected. This is even less acknowledged in terms of quality of life (QoL) and identity. Aims: This study aims to investigate how aphasia affects QoL, and specifically identity, from the perspective of family members of PWA. Methods and Procedures: This study used a qualitative research design in order to explore how the lives of PWA and their family members have changed. Four family members (two wives of people with aphasia and two mothers) participated in semi-structured interviews. The interviews were analysed using thematic analysis. Outcomes and Results: Analysis revealed three core themes: (1) loss; (2) change of role; and (3)availability of social network. Conclusions: This study showed that aphasia affects the QoL and identity for both the person with aphasia and their family members. Clinically, these results emphasise the importance of addressing QoL and identity in aphasia intervention, and including support for family members in order to provide a more family-centred approach to management.
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