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Aphasia Nursing Term Paper


Aphasia inhibits the patient’s ability to read, write, speak, or figure out what to say to other people. The illness is a consequence of stroke. Both diseases have worrisome prevalence rates worldwide and are attributed to detrimental consequences on a population as they can cause death, disabilities, depression, or inhibit communication among other effects. The onset of aphasia and its subsequent inhibitions of social interaction and communication can be disadvantageous to the affected individual and the community they live in.

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A patient diagnosed with aphasia has problems with engaging in conversations, in turn, minimizing his/her chances to express opinions, thoughts, feelings, and competence. In addition, the illness reduces participation and overall quality of life of an individual. Consequently, research suggests that rehabilitation of aphasia should aim at adopting approaches that increase the ability of the affected to engage in conversations. The society can motivate and help aphasia patients recover and live independently by adopting inclusive rehabilitative therapy approaches.

In the past, psychologists and sociologists have theorized motivation in a number of ways. The most significant approach is the Self-Determination Theory (SDT). The model proposes an empirical support and underscores the importance of competence and autonomy in propelling people towards achieving relational goals (Biel et al., 395). Whereas competence emphasizes the need of making an individual feel that he/she is capable of completing a specific task or participating in an activity, autonomy focuses on making a person feel that he/she completely and fully endorses the behavior they engage in (Biel et al., 405; Harmon et al. 927). Deci and Ryan note that satisfying such basic needs is the precursor of facilitating autonomous motivation, which enables people to act with a sense of full volition and endorsement (“Motivation” 85). On the other hand, upsetting the needs promotes controlled motivation, which limits people by pressuring them to behave in a conditioned way (Deci and Ryan, “Motivation” 85). Their previous review highlights the implications of people’s vulnerability to being controlled and being autonomous. They note that these two aspects regulate the intentional behavior of an individual making him/her either self-regulated by choice or constrained to act in a particular way (Deci and Ryan, “The Support” 1035). Consequently, understanding the distinction between autonomy-control psychologies is paramount in underscoring behavior, development, and experience of people with aphasia, in turn, improving their communication.

Most of the literature by other researchers contextualizes STD in terms of proximal social contexts and salient people that can help patients communicate better and live independently. Some of the research work suggests the need for a holistic approach to aphasia management that can create an interpersonal climate of motivation. A 2014 study by Grohn et al., intended to identify the common features in terms of shared experiences of patients, found that there is a need for collaborative force to help people move forward actively (1405). The survey, which included 50 participants, noted that factors relating to maintenance of positivity, social support, engagement in activities, and communication improvement were crucial in facilitating the patient’s recovery, thus, helping them to live more independently (Grohn et al. 1405). Since aphasia is a continuous illness that requires long-time treatment, all the stakeholders such as the patient, the family of the affected, and speech-language pathologists among others should ensure that they work in an alliance. Brown et al. share the same sentiments in their study purposed to expound on what it means to live independently with aphasia and the role played by family members in making it happen. In their assessment, which included 24 family members, they found that aphasia affects not only the patient but also every individual within the family. Therefore, the need for their inclusivity during the rehabilitation process is paramount (Brown et al. 536). Such cooperation ensures that not only quality and timely service delivery are implemented but also that the patient and his/her families are fully supported during the recovery period. It is even better if family members portray a willingness to be included as key participants during the rehabilitation process (Brown et al. 537). Thus, the importance of participating in social support, meaningful activities, and collaboration of all relevant stakeholders are key aspects of motivation that should be considered in the efforts to help people with aphasia live independently.

Several systematic and meta-analysis reviews on living with aphasia concur on the importance of therapy during the rehabilitation process. A review by Dignam et al. emphasizes the significance of Aphasia Language Impairment and Functioning Therapy programs (2206). In particular, their study aimed at determining the superior method between distributive and intensive therapy treatment. According to their findings, the distributive therapy has a greater impact on improving the communication abilities of individuals diagnosed with aphasia (Dignam et al. 2206). Nonetheless, both approaches to therapy enhance communication confidence and effectiveness of patients with aphasia, thus, improving their quality of life (Dignam et al. 2207). Since aphasia has psychosocial consequences, it can put an individual under immense stress, thus, leading to depression or hurting the social activities of the affected patient (Barnes and Nickels 1). Consequently, most of the therapy approaches have been formulated in a manner that encourages social participation, especially in a group context (Barnes and Nickels 1; Bittman et al. 1; Dignam et al. 2206; Northcott et al. 156). One particular intervention for the socially withdrawn people is the use of Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT). Such behavioral treatment is different from other forms of therapies in that it involves only 3 to 5 sessions and is less severe in its applicability to build change. In their study, Northcott et al. explore the feasibility of SFBT and its impact on the psychosocial well-being of the patient (156). Their findings confirmed the effectiveness of the approach in enhancing independent communication among people diagnosed with aphasia (Northcott et al. 156). Similarly, Bittman et al. add to existing literature on the importance of group-based intervention that enhances social interaction and independence in communication. In particular, they aim to assess the efficacy of community-based therapy in weekend camps within Canada and the US (Bittman et al. 1). They found that attending Alberta Aphasia Camp (ABAC) had a significant positive recovery impact on people diagnosed with aphasia. Consequently, they inferred that weekend retreat is an appropriate way of helping a patient live independently (Bittman et al. 23). Therapies are promising models that emphasize social connections and recreational activities, thus, motivating people with aphasia to speak by themselves and live without necessarily requiring help.

Overall, the literature review above has focused on contextualizing aphasia, a condition that inhibits communication abilities of the affected individual. Existing literature expounds on the concept of living independently with aphasia and underscores the importance of motivation in enhancing competence and autonomy. Since the communication process plays a crucial part in enhancing social interactions and activities, it is paramount for society to adopt inclusive rehabilitative therapy approaches that help aphasia patients recover and live autonomously.

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Works Cited
Barnes, Scott, and Lyndsey Nickels. “Interaction-Focused Therapy for Aphasia: Effects on Communication and Quality of Life.” International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 2017.doi:10.1080/17549507.2017.1329851
Biel, Mike, et al. “Understanding Motivation in Aphasia Rehabilitation.” Aphasia Rehabilitation: Clinical Challenges, edited by Patrick Coppens and Janet Patterson, Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2017, pp. 393-436.
Bittman, Caitlin, et al. “The Effects of Alberta Aphasia Camp on Quality of Life for People Living With Aphasia.” University of Alberta, 2015, era.library.ualberta.ca/items/7d8772a9-d34d-4f50-97a7-f5f13fa61ff9/view/fc5a2aa8-10a6-4d02-b681-3a28e6f0ceff/CSD900-Bittman,Duncan,Forest,McAvoy.pdf. Accessed 27 Oct. 2018.
Brown, Kyla, et al. “Living Successfully With Aphasia: Family Members Share Their Views.” Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation, vol. 18, no. 5, 2015, pp. 536-548. doi:10.1310/tsr1805-536
Deci, Edward L., and Richard M. Ryan. “The Support of Autonomy and the Control of Behavior.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 53, no. 6, 1987, pp. 1024-1037. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.53.6.1024
—. “Motivation, Personality, and Development Within Embedded Social Contexts: An Overview of Self-Determination Theory.” The Oxford Handbook of Human Motivation, edited by Richard M. Ryan, 2012, Oxford University Press, pp. 85-107. doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195399820.013.0006
Dignam, Jade, et al. “Intensive Versus Distributed Aphasia Therapy: A Nonrandomized, Parallel-Group, Dosage-Controlled Study.” Stroke, vol. 46, no. 8, 2015, pp. 2206-2211. doi:10.1161/strokeaha.115.009522
Grohn, Brooke, et al. “Living Successfully With Aphasia During the First Year Post-stroke: A Longitudinal Qualitative Study.” Aphasiology, vol. 28, no.12, 2014, pp. 1405-1425. doi:10.1080/02687038.2014.935118
Harmon, Tyson G., Lucy Hardy, and Katarina L. Haley. “Proactive Social Validation of Methods and Procedures Used for Training Speech Production in Aphasia.” Aphasiology, vol. 32, no. 8, 2018, pp. 922-943.
Northcott, Sarah, et al. “Living With Aphasia the Best Way I Can: A Feasibility Study Exploring Solution-Focused Brief Therapy for People With Aphasia.” Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica, vol. 67, no. 3, 2015 pp. 156-167.

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