Original Research

Perspectives of working-age adults with aphasia regarding social participation

Nadia M. Souchon, Esedra Krüger, Renata Eccles, Bhavani S. Pillay
African Journal of Disability | Vol 9 | a713 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v9i0.713 | © 2020 Nadia M. Souchon, Esedra Krüger, Renata Eccles, Bhavani S. Pillay | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 February 2020 | Published: 15 December 2020

About the author(s)

Nadia M. Souchon, Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Esedra Krüger, Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Renata Eccles, Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Bhavani S. Pillay, Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Working-age adults with aphasia experience difficulties in social participation, specifically fulfilling social roles and reintegrating into communities. Literature regarding social participation of people with aphasia (PWA) is predominantly based on studies conducted in high-income countries (HIC), limiting generalisability of findings. Perspectives of social participation are influenced by person, place and cultural background warranting investigation in heterogeneous low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), like South Africa.

Objectives: Describe perspectives of working-age adults with aphasia regarding social participation within the first 2 years post-incident.

Method: Semi-structured interviews gained perspectives of 10 working-age adults (with mild to moderate aphasia) using principles of supported conversation for adults with aphasia. Data were thematically analysed to describe participants’ perspectives of social participation.

Results: Seven themes were identified pertaining to participants’ perspectives of social participation. Participants considered rehabilitation services, faith-related activities and returning to work as valued areas of social participation. Previous interests, presence of support and characteristics of communication partners determined their preference and willingness to participate with others. Finally, personal attitudes and feelings continued to influence their perspectives of social participation, as well as their motivation to participate.

Conclusion: Successful social participation was dependent on the PWA’s perceived value of social activities and presence of support from significant others. Speech-language therapists are in the ideal position to facilitate PWA’s communication abilities and their experience of successful participation through the implementation of person-centered care and community-led intervention. This study provided a preliminary investigation of social participation in South Africa and further investigation is warranted.


Keywords

social participation; aphasia; lower and middle-income countries; stroke; working-age adults

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