The confidence and knowledge of health practitioners when interacting with people with aphasia in a hospital setting

Cameron, Ashley, McPhail, Steven, Hudson, Kyla, Fleming, Jennifer, Lethlean, Jennifer, Tan, Ngang Ju and Finch, Emma (2017) The confidence and knowledge of health practitioners when interacting with people with aphasia in a hospital setting. Disability and Rehabilitation, 1-6. doi:10.1080/09638288.2017.1294626

Author Cameron, Ashley
McPhail, Steven
Hudson, Kyla
Fleming, Jennifer
Lethlean, Jennifer
Tan, Ngang Ju
Finch, Emma
Title The confidence and knowledge of health practitioners when interacting with people with aphasia in a hospital setting
Journal name Disability and Rehabilitation   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1464-5165
Publication date 2017-03-13
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/09638288.2017.1294626
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Start page 1
End page 6
Total pages 6
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Purpose: The aim of the study was to describe and compare the confidence and knowledge of health professionals (HPs) with and without specialized speech-language training for communicating with people with aphasia (PWA) in a metropolitan hospital setting.

Methods: Ninety HPs from multidisciplinary teams completed a customized survey to identify their demographic information, knowledge of aphasia, current use of supported conversation strategies and overall communication confidence when interacting with PWA using a 100 mm visual analogue scale (VAS) to rate open-ended questions. Conventional descriptive statistics were used to examine the demographic information. Descriptive statistics and the Mann–Whitney U test were used to analyse VAS confidence rating data. The responses to the open-ended survey questions were grouped into four previously identified key categories.

Results: The HPs consisted of 22 (24.4%) participants who were speech-language pathologists and 68 (75.6%) participants from other disciplines (non-speech-language pathology HPs, non-SLP HPs). The non-SLP HPs reported significantly lower confidence levels (U = 159.0, p < 0.001, two-tailed) and identified fewer strategies for communicating effectively with PWA than the trained speech-language pathologists. The non-SLP HPs identified a median of two strategies identified [interquartile range (IQR) 1–3] in contrast to the speech-language pathologists who identified a median of eight strategies (IQR 7–12).

Conclusion: These findings suggest that HPs, particularly those without specialized communication education, are likely to benefit from formal training to enhance their confidence, skills and ability to successfully communicate with PWA in their work environment. This may in turn increase the involvement of PWA in their health care decisions.

Implications for Rehabilitation: Interventions to remediate health professional’s (particularly non-speech-language pathology health professionals) lower levels of confidence and ability to communicate with PWA may ultimately help ensure equal access for PWA.Promote informed collaborative decision-making, and foster patient-centred care within the health care setting.
Keyword Allied health
Communication strategies
Health care access
Health professionals
Supported communication training
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
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Created: Tue, 28 Mar 2017, 00:20:19 EST by Web Cron on behalf of Learning and Research Services (UQ Library)