Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Bachelor of Speech Pathology Honours


School of Psychology and Social Science


Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science

First Supervisor

Professor Beth Armstrong

Second Supervisor

Associate Professor Deborah Hersh


This study examines clinician and client interactions in the context of an acute care unit in a small urban Western Australian Hospital. The study involved audiovisual recordings and observations of assessment sessions, and in-depth interviews with the assessing Speech Pathologist and her clients. Analysis used Discourse Analysis of assessment sessions and Thematic Analysis of interviews. There is growing evidence as to how less formal non-traditional assessment might be more supportive of people with aphasia—for instance, by using concepts and techniques drawn from Dynamic Assessment and principles of Adult Learning. Surveys of Australian and New Zealand Speech Pathologists reflect a move away from standardised tests in acute settings, finding Speech Pathologists are more likely to use informal and/or unstandardised assessment tools. However, little research has been conducted about the assessment experiences of people with aphasia, particularly in the early stages post- stroke. The purpose of this study is to describe and analyse typical contemporary speech pathology practices in assessment of people with aphasia in the early stages post-stroke, and explore how assessment is experienced by both the assessing clinician and the person assessed.