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Communication with Patients with Acquired Speech-Language Disorders in a Rehabilitation Hospital: Staff Perceptions and Practices

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Healthcare providers’ ability to use AAC tools and strategies are essential to the rehabilitation process of patients with acquired speech-language disorders.
Aim: to gather information on the perceptions and practices of healthcare providers regarding their interactions with those patients before and after an instructional and practical workshop.
Method: One hundred hospital staff members (physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists and social workers) filled in a questionnaire consisting of multiple-choice and open-ended questions. The questionnaire queried eight topics (e.g. scope and quality of communication with patients with communication disorders; satisfaction with the ability to communicate with them and suggestions for improving those conversations). Members of each sector participated in a workshop on topics related to AAC. Forty-six participants filled in an extended questionnaire querying nine topics following the workshop. Thirty participants completed all research stages.
Results: significant pre-post intervention comparisons including improved satisfaction with their ability to convey messages to the patients (20% versus 43.3%), their ability to understand patients (13.3% versus 26.7%), their use of AAC aids while communicating with patients (17.2% versus 36.7%), and greater use of AAC aids to better understand patients (37.9% versus 58.6%). Eighty-six point seven percent reported that the workshop matched or went beyond their expectations nevertheless 76% referred to their need of specific guidance in order to improve their communication skills.
Conclusion: the workshop raised staff awareness of their role as communication partners. There is a strong need for continuous guidance to implement the usage of AAC aids and strategies.

Author(s):

Tal Lebel    
University of Haifa
Israel

Bat El Katz    
Loewenstein Hospital - Rehabilitation Center
Israel

Aren Awad    
Loewenstein Hospital - Rehabilitation Center
Israel

Galit Ben-Or    
Loewenstein Hospital - Rehabilitation Center
Israel

Mali Gil    
Loewenstein Hospital - Rehabilitation Center
Israel

 

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