The impact of communication partner variables on supported conversation for adults with aphasia

Thumbnail Image
Issue Date
Sechtem, Phillip R.
Scherz, Julie W.

The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of three communication partner variables on conversational effectiveness including: (a) interpersonal cognitive complexity, (b) partner perceptions of communicative effectiveness of spouses/close relatives with aphasia, and (c) partner perceptions about the quality of their relationship with their spouses/close relatives with aphasia. Ten dyads (one person with aphasia and their communication partner) participated in this study. The communication partners were trained to use conversation strategies based on Kagan's (1999) supported conversation protocol. Pre- and post-training 10-minute conversations were videotaped and analyzed using adapted versions of Kagan's supported conversation scales. Scores obtained from these scales were compared to scores obtained from scales indexing the partner variables of interest. Results showed scores on supported conversation measures to be significantly improved (p < .05) after training (Kagan et al., 2004). Interpersonal cognitive complexity did not correlate significantly with the conversational effectiveness of trained partners; however, there was a significant correlation with the conversational effectiveness of persons with aphasia. Partner perceptions of communicative effectiveness of persons with aphasia were significantly inversely correlated with their own measure of conversational effectiveness; but not with the conversational effectiveness of persons with aphasia. Partner perceptions of the quality of his or her marital/close relative relationship did not significantly correlate with the conversational effectiveness of either conversation partner. Results indicate that both interpersonal cognitive complexity and partner perceptions of the communicative effectiveness of their spouse/relative with aphasia share a relationship with conversational effectiveness. A non-significant relationship was found between mutuality and conversational effectiveness and there was little if any relationship among the three partner variables of interest.

Table of Content
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Wichita State University, College of Health Professions, Dept. of Communication Sciences and Disorders