"Well it has to be language-related": Speech-language pathologists' goals for people with aphasia and their families
This article was originally published as: Sherratt, S., Worrall, L., Pearson, C., Howe, T., Hersh, D. J., & Davidson, B. (2011). "Well it has to be language-related": Speech-language pathologists' goals for people with aphasia and their families. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 13(4), 317-328. Original article available here
Goal-setting is considered an essential part of rehabilitation practice and integral to person-centredness. However, people with aphasia are not always satisfied with goal-setting, and speech-language pathologists are concerned about the appropriateness of therapy. Furthermore, family members are often excluded from goal-setting, despite the impact aphasia has on them. The actual goals set by clinicians for clients with aphasia and their family members have not yet been investigated. This study aimed to examine the goals that clinicians set for their clients with aphasia and their family members. Data from in-depth interviews with 34 speech-language pathologists describing 84 goal-setting experiences with people with aphasia were coded into superordinate goals for both groups. Clinicians expressed a wide range of goals for people with aphasia and their family members, relating to communication, coping and participation factors, and education. In addition, evaluation was considered a goal for the clients. There were clients for whom no goals were set, particularly for family members, due to a lack of/limited contact. The goals described broadly addressed all aspects of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) and reflected the use of both functional and impairment-based therapeutic approaches; they also emphasize the importance of providing goal-setting options for the family members of these clients.