Clinical Focus  |   August 2010
Tell Me Your Story: Analysis of Script Topics Selected by Persons With Aphasia
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Audrey L. Holland
    University of Arizona, Tucson
  • Anita S. Halper
    Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
  • Leora R. Cherney
    Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
  • Contact author: Leora R. Cherney, Center for Aphasia Research and Treatment, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, 345 East Superior Street, Chicago, IL 60611. E-mail. lcherney@ric.org.
Article Information
Language Disorders / Aphasia / Clinical Focus
Clinical Focus   |   August 2010
Tell Me Your Story: Analysis of Script Topics Selected by Persons With Aphasia
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2010, Vol. 19, 198-203. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2010/09-0095)
History: Received October 21, 2009 , Accepted May 3, 2010
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2010, Vol. 19, 198-203. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2010/09-0095)
History: Received October 21, 2009; Accepted May 3, 2010
Web of Science® Times Cited: 6

Purpose: This study examined the content of 100 short scripts, co-constructed by persons with aphasia (PWA) and a clinician. The PWA subsequently learned the scripts by interacting with a computerized virtual therapist. The goal was to provide clinicians with ideas regarding content for treatment that is meaningful to PWAs.

Method: Thirty-three PWAs generated the scripts, typically including 1 monologue and 2 dialogues in which the PWA was either the initiator or the responder. Scripts were analyzed for common topics and themes.

Results: Thirty topics were identified and categorized into 10 themes. For the monologues, the largest category was personal stories (68%), with 12 of the 19 addressing their stroke and aphasia. For the dialogues, conversations with family were dominant (21%), followed by seeking or providing information (18%), and discussion of outside interests (14%).

Conclusion: PWAs choose to speak about their life experiences, choose to reconnect with their families, and tend to focus on communication that can help them to negotiate mundane normal life. Independent of how this content is used in treatment, materials should emphasize matters of high personal relevance to those treated.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research Grant H133B031127 from the U.S. Department of Education. AphasiaScripts is a trademark of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. None of the authors have a financial interest in the software product. We want to thank Edie Babbitt, Rosalind Hurwitz, and Jaime Lee, speech-language pathologists in the Center for Aphasia Research and Treatment at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, for their assistance with testing, script development, and computer training of the participants with aphasia. Special thanks to Ronald Cole, Sarel Van Vuuren, and Nattawut Ngampatipatpong for developing the computer software for script training and their technical support.
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