Speech Language Pathologists and Comfortability of Treating Emotional Needs of Patients with Aphasia

Charlotte Griffith , Student, Department of Communication Disorders, University of Nebraska at Kearney Ladan Ghazi Saidi, Faculty Mentor, Department of Communication Disorders, University of Nebraska at Kearney University of Nebraska Kearney 2504 9th Ave, Kearney, NE 68849

Aphasia is a disability caused by brain injury that results in a loss of language. Symptoms of aphasia include difficulty comprehending spoken language, production of language, trouble finding words, difficulty writing, difficulty with reading (Isaphany, 2012). Depression often accompanies aphasia (Worrall, et al, 2016). It has been reported that 30% of stroke survivors suffer from depression (Morrison, 2016). In patients with expressive problems, the number increases up to 70% (Morrison, 2016). On the other hand, it has been reported that although Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) notice the depressive symptoms in patients with aphasia, they do not necessarily refer them to psychologists (Northcott, et al, 2017). This raises the concern that patients with aphasia may not receive the mental health care and support they need. This study aims to survey a minimum of 10 SLPs in the United States on their level of comfort in referring patients with aphasia and depressive symptoms to mental health specialists to receive the care they need. This study uses a Qualtrics survey replicating a previous study conducted in the United Kingdom (Northcott, et al, 2017). The results of this study can shed light on the need for effective interprofessional collaboration in healthcare systems to improve the psychosocial health of individuals with aphasia. Identifying the scale of this issue will help determine what next steps experts in mental healthcare and speech language pathology can do to implement a better quality of life for patients diagnosed with aphasia.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Charlotte Griffith

Institution: University of Nebraska at Kearney

Type: Poster

Subject: Physical/Occupational Therapy & Speech Language Pathology

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 9
Date/Time: Wed 12:00pm-1:00pm
Session Number: 6098