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Development of a procedure to evaluate the contributions of persons with aphasia and their spouses in an interview situation

Croteau, Claire and Le Dorze, Guylaine and Baril, Genevieve
Development of a procedure to evaluate the contributions of persons with aphasia and their spouses in an interview situation . Aphasiology, 21(6-8), August, 2007, pages 791-801.


Background: Although there has been increasing interest in the study of conversations between people with aphasia and their partners, the participation of persons with aphasia in conversation with their spouses in the presence of a third party has not been extensively investigated. Nevertheless, opportunities for such situations are frequent, and therefore provide an interesting opportunity to examine how couples collaborate.

Aims: (1) To develop a procedure to analyse conversations that would specifically address the contributions of persons with aphasia and their spouses in an interview situation. (2) To describe spousal contributions in an interview situation, including what preceded and followed these contributions, in a group of couples with a member with aphasia. (3) To verify the inter-judge reliability of the procedure.

Methods & Procedures: Videos of three couples with aphasia in an interview situation were analysed. Contributions of the spouse when the participant with aphasia was clearly speaking with the interviewer, contexts in which spouses contributed, reactions of persons with aphasia, and their participation following contributions were described. Definitions were created, operationalised, tested, and refined on 11 other similar couples in the same interactive situation. Eight other couples were then videotaped and studied.

Outcomes & Results: Results revealed that half the contributions produced by the spouse were “repairs” and the other half were “speaking for” behaviours. Most often, contributions were unsolicited. Generally, the person with aphasia approved the spouse's contribution and continued afterwards to take an active part in the conversation. Inter-judge reliability coefficients varied between 89% and 97%.

Conclusions: The procedure employed is representative of situations encountered by couples affected by aphasia. The data collection and analysis methods could be applicable to clinical situations. It is important to consider spousal contributions and their impact on the person with aphasia in conversations when helping couples adjust to the consequences of aphasia.
* This research was supported by grants from Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and Les Fonds de la Recherche en Santé du Québec. The participants are gratefully acknowledged. We would like to also thank Christiane Malaborza, Claudia Morin, Ève Nadeau, the speech-language pathologists, and the associations of people with aphasia who referred many participants to us. We also extend our gratitude to Nina Simmons-Mackie for helpful comments.

EPrint Type:Journal (Paginated)
ID Code:1780
Conference:Clinical Aphasiology Conference: Clinical Aphasiology Conference (2006 : 36th : Ghent, Belgium : May 29-June 2, 2006)
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
Alternative Locations:
DOI or Unique Handle:10.1080/02687030701192398
Additional Information:Access to the full text is subject to the publisher's restrictions.