Speech pathologists` experience of involving clients with stroke-induced aphasia in clinical decision making during rehabilitation.
Taylor and Francis
School of Medical and Health Sciences
Purpose: Although client participation has been part of legislation and clinical guidelines for several years, the evidence of these recommendations being implemented into clinical practice is scarce, especially for people with communication disorders. The aim of this study was to investigate how speech pathologists experienced client participation during the process of goal-setting and clinical decision making for people with aphasia. Methods: Twenty speech pathologists participated in four focus group interviews. A qualitative analysis using Systematic Text Condensation was undertaken. Results : Analysis revealed three different approaches to client participation: (1) client-oriented, (2) next of kin oriented and (3) professional-oriented participation. Participants perceived client oriented participation as the gold standard. The three approaches were described as overlapping, with each having individual characteristics incorporating different facilitators and barriers. Conclusions: There is a need for greater emphasis on how to involve people with severe aphasia in goal setting and treatment planning, and frameworks made to enhance collaboration could preferably be used. Participants reported use of next of kin as proxies in goal-setting and clinical decision making for people with moderate-to-severe aphasia, indicating the need for awareness towards maintaining the clients’ autonomy and addressing the goals of next of kin.