Training Volunteers as Conversation Partners Using "Supported Conversation for Adults With Aphasia" (SCA) A Controlled Trial Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 2001
Training Volunteers as Conversation Partners Using "Supported Conversation for Adults With Aphasia" (SCA)
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Aura Kagan, PhD
    Aphasia Institute Toronto, Canada and Graduate Department of Speech-Language Pathology University of Toronto, 53 The Links Road, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M2P 1T7
  • Sandra E. Black
    Department of Medicine and Program in Aging Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences Centre Toronto, Canada
  • Judith Felson Duchan
    Department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences SUNY at Buffalo Buffalo, NY
  • Nina Simmons-Mackie
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders Southeastern Louisiana University Hammond
  • Paula Square
    Graduate Department of Speech-Language Pathology University of Toronto Toronto, Canada
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: akagan@aphasia.ca
Article Information
Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Aphasia / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 2001
Training Volunteers as Conversation Partners Using "Supported Conversation for Adults With Aphasia" (SCA)
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2001, Vol. 44, 624-638. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2001/051)
History: Received August 24, 2000 , Accepted January 19, 2001
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2001, Vol. 44, 624-638. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2001/051)
History: Received August 24, 2000; Accepted January 19, 2001
Web of Science® Times Cited: 180

This article reports the development and evaluation of a new intervention termed "Supported Conversation for Adults with Aphasia" (SCA). The approach is based on the idea that the inherent competence of people with aphasia can be revealed through the skill of a conversation partner. The intervention approach was developed at a community-based aphasia center where volunteers interact with individuals with chronic aphasia and their families. The experimental study was designed to test whether training improves the conversational skills of volunteers, and, if so, whether the improvements affect the communication of their conversation partners with aphasia. Twenty volunteers received SCA training, and 20 control volunteers were merely exposed to people with aphasia. Comparisons between the groups’ scores on a Measure of Supported Conversation for Adults with Aphasia provide support for the efficacy of SCA. Trained volunteers scored significantly higher than untrained volunteers on ratings of acknowledging competence [F (1, 36)=19.1, p < .001] and revealing competence [F(1, 36)=159.0, p < .001] of their partners with aphasia. The training also produced a positive change in ratings of social [F(1, 36)=5.7, p < .023] and message exchange skills [F(1, 36)=17.6, p < .001] of individuals with aphasia, even though these individuals did not participate in the training. Implications for the treatment of aphasia and an argument for a social model of intervention are discussed.

Acknowledgments
This study would not have been possible without the commitment of board members, staff, volunteers, and members of the Pat Arato Aphasia Centre at the Aphasia Institute. The authors would specifically like to thank Drs. Charles Lumsden and Lynn MacDonald (members of the first author’s doctoral committee) for support, advice, and careful review of this research. Dr. David Streiner provided much appreciated advice on statistical analysis and design. Rochelle Cohen-Schneider, Judy Hain Cohen, Susan Jellinck, Lorraine Podolsky, and Marc Roberts assisted with various aspects of the study. Joanne Winckel and Elyse Shumway were involved in the development of resource material and training for the SCA approach, and Joanne Winckel was the rater for the 80 videotapes. Annette Young, Christine Szekely, and Farrell Leibovitz helped with data analysis. The help of all these individuals is gratefully acknowledged, as is a grant from Health Canada (Project no. 4687-06-93/250) that supported the development of the intervention “Supported Conversation for Adults With Aphasia.”
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access