Tailoring supported conversation
The purpose of this study was to determine if tailoring communication notebooks and methods of conversation to the individual needs of clients with aphasia would enhance their quality of life. Nine adults (4 females and 5 males) attending an aphasia group at a University-based clinic participated in the study. The Multimodal Communication Screening Test for Persons with Aphasia (MCST-A) was administered along with the AAC-Aphasia Categories of Communicators Checklist to determine the conversation abilities and preferences of the participants. These scores were compared to scores obtained on the Western Aphasia Battery (WAB) to determine if severity of aphasia affected communicator preferences. Communication notebooks were created using the MCST-A scores to customize the supports available for each participant. These communication notebooks were used during the 90-minute aphasia group sessions weekly for fifteen weeks. A Quality of Communication Life Scale (ASHA QCL) was given to aphasia group members before and after the use of individualized communication notebooks. Additionally to a brief questionnaire was created and administered before and after the 15 weeks of treatment with the communication notebooks. Results indicated severity of aphasia determined by the WAB did not predict the communicator preferences determined by the MCST-A assessment. This study showed that certain areas of aphasia group participants' quality of life, as measured by the Quality of Communication Life Scale (ASHA QCL) improved after the introduction of communication notebooks during aphasia group sessions. Student clinicians' experience and confidence with using supported conversation also increased after being introduced to supported conversation.