Practices and challenges in community aphasia groups in Australia: Results of a national survey Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • This study reports on practices and challenges in developing community aphasia groups in Australia.A 24-item web-based survey addressed the structure of existing community aphasia groups, funding models, group activities, facilitator satisfaction, challenges to group development and maintenance and suggestions for improvement. A total of 156 surveys were completed, mostly by speech-language pathologists (SLPs), with 66% urban and 34% regional/rural/remote participants representing all Australian states/territories consistent with their populations.Seventy respondents indicated running a total of 86 groups, reflecting a substantial under-representation of service in proportion to the population of people with aphasia. Further, 23.6% of respondents reported dissatisfaction with aspects of their groups. The primary barriers to achieving satisfaction relate to limited resources and staffing, inability to run sufficient numbers of groups and to tailor them effectively, dispersed populations beyond major cities, group dynamics and a lack of group promotion and referral to groups. Respondents suggested means for improvement including changes to group structure, improved SLP training, dedicated funding and staffing, development of specific resources and better liaison and promotion.The major features differentiating the community aphasia groups run in Australia from those running overseas are discussed and practical ways to achieve service improvement are suggested.

publication date

  • 2015

has subject area