Using Family Members or Close Friends as Informants About Participation Goals for Older Adults With and Without Aphasia Client-centered care is a stated focus for many rehabilitation programs, but personalized goal-setting presents unique challenges for people with aphasia (PWA). A potential solution for clinicians is to enlist the help of family members or close friends to determine what life activities should be addressed. In this article, we review ... Article
Article  |   April 01, 2012
Using Family Members or Close Friends as Informants About Participation Goals for Older Adults With and Without Aphasia
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Katarina L. Haley
    Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Department of Allied Health Sciences at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
  • Thomas Wangerman
    Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Department of Allied Health Sciences at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
  • Katarina L. Haley, PhD, is Associate Professor in the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and codirector of the UNC Center for Aphasia and Related Disorders. Her research interests are in the clinical management of aphasia and apraxia of speech.
    Katarina L. Haley, PhD, is Associate Professor in the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and codirector of the UNC Center for Aphasia and Related Disorders. Her research interests are in the clinical management of aphasia and apraxia of speech.×
  • Thomas Wangerman, MS, is a recent graduate from the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Department of Allied Health Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is currently working as a speech-language pathologist in a rehabilitation setting.
    Thomas Wangerman, MS, is a recent graduate from the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, Department of Allied Health Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is currently working as a speech-language pathologist in a rehabilitation setting.×
Article Information
Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Language Disorders / Aphasia / Articles
Article   |   April 01, 2012
Using Family Members or Close Friends as Informants About Participation Goals for Older Adults With and Without Aphasia
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, April 2012, Vol. 22, 12-17. doi:10.1044/nnsld22.1.12
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, April 2012, Vol. 22, 12-17. doi:10.1044/nnsld22.1.12

Client-centered care is a stated focus for many rehabilitation programs, but personalized goal-setting presents unique challenges for people with aphasia (PWA). A potential solution for clinicians is to enlist the help of family members or close friends to determine what life activities should be addressed. In this article, we review two main reasons this solution is not ideal. First, we discuss how negative effects on autonomy and motivation may be instigated unintentionally. Next, we consider to what extent accurate input can be assumed by proxy responders. We conclude by reporting the results of a small study showing that congruence about activity choices among family members or friends not affected by aphasia is similar to previously reported congruence in families with a history of aphasia. These results suggest that ability to predict life activity preferences in others is limited, regardless of the presence of aphasia. We contend that although the input and participation of significant others is often critical to positive rehabilitation outcomes, the value of this input lies in its relationship to the priorities identified by the individual with aphasia, not in the potential for replacing it.

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