More Than a Story: My Life Came Back to Life Purpose Social models of aphasia rehabilitation emphasize the importance of supporting identity renegotiation, which can be accomplished in part through personal narrative construction. The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of persons who had engaged in a project to coconstruct personal narratives about life with aphasia. ... Research Article
Research Article  |   March 01, 2018
More Than a Story: My Life Came Back to Life
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Katie A. Strong
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant
    Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Ph.D., Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo
  • Mary D. Lagerwey
    Bronson School of Nursing, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo
  • Barbara B. Shadden
    Program in Communication Disorders, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Katie A. Strong: stron4ka@cmich.edu
  • Editor: Margaret Blake
    Editor: Margaret Blake×
  • Associate Editor: Rebecca Marshall
    Associate Editor: Rebecca Marshall×
  • Publisher Note: This article is part of the Special Issue: Select Papers From the 46th Clinical Aphasiology Conference.
    Publisher Note: This article is part of the Special Issue: Select Papers From the 46th Clinical Aphasiology Conference.×
Article Information
Special Populations / Language Disorders / Aphasia / Special Issue: Select Papers From the 46th Clinical Aphasiology Conference / Research Articles
Research Article   |   March 01, 2018
More Than a Story: My Life Came Back to Life
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, March 2018, Vol. 27, 464-476. doi:10.1044/2017_AJSLP-16-0167
History: Received September 30, 2016 , Revised June 8, 2017 , Accepted October 19, 2017
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, March 2018, Vol. 27, 464-476. doi:10.1044/2017_AJSLP-16-0167
History: Received September 30, 2016; Revised June 8, 2017; Accepted October 19, 2017

Purpose Social models of aphasia rehabilitation emphasize the importance of supporting identity renegotiation, which can be accomplished in part through personal narrative construction. The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of persons who had engaged in a project to coconstruct personal narratives about life with aphasia.

Method Qualitative interviews were conducted with 3 participants with aphasia who completed a 4-week personal narrative coconstruction project, which included preadministration and postadministration of the Communication Confidence Rating Scale for Aphasia (Cherney & Babbitt, 2011). Results were analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis.

Results Three themes were revealed: (a) More than a story: It changed my life validated the idea that the narrative coconstruction process supported a positive view of identity; (b) A positive experience captured the participants' enjoyment in coconstructing and sharing their story; (c) Hope engendered by the coconstruction experience empowered participants with new levels of confidence not only in their communication skills but also in themselves.

Conclusions This study provided insight into the experience of coconstructing personal narratives using a structured protocol. Participants experienced the project as a positive, meaningful opportunity to actively contemplate their life and look forward. The study has implications for clinicians considering support of identity renegotiation in aphasia rehabilitation.

Acknowledgments
This work was a part of Katie Strong's doctoral dissertation from the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Ph.D. Program at Western Michigan University. The authors would like to acknowledge Nickola Wolf Nelson, Western Michigan University, for her significant contributions to this work and the participants who told their stories.
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