Mental health professionals' knowledge of aphasia

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Chandler Kirsten Barnes (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Leigh Odom

Abstract: Aphasia is an acquired language disorder that affects an individual’s ability to use languageeffectively and efficiently in all modalities. Its management often involves multiple healthprofessionals including but not limited to speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists,physical therapists, clinical social workers, counselors, psychiatrists, nurses, doctors, and otherrehabilitation specialists. Given the necessity of language in many aspects of our lives, it is nothard to imagine the presence of emotional consequences of the disorder such as depression. Theproposed thesis project is aimed at examining mental health professionals’ knowledge andunderstanding of aphasia using an online survey. North Carolina Psychology Board membersand North Carolina Board of Licensed Professionals Counselors members were recruited byelectronic-mail invitation. After providing consent to participate, survey questions werepresented addressing the participants’ certifications and training; years of practice; knowledge ofaphasia; history of service provision to this population; continuing education completed on thetopic of aphasia; and self-reported confidence in providing potential therapy to a person withaphasia. General findings suggested that the majority of respondents had heard of aphasia andcorrectly defined it as a language disorder, and more advanced degrees and more years in clinicalpractice was often associated with increased likelihood of experience with the population and confidence in providing service to this population. Interestingly, most of the participants, whowere familiar with aphasia, first learned of the disorder while in an academic program for theirrespective field; however, very few indicated that they had participated in a continuing educationcourse on the topic. The results of the survey provided useful information for future educationand training in this area with hopes of promoting awareness of aphasia and the potential mentalhealth issues that can accompany the disorder. Through proper management of depression, it isbelieved that final outcomes of aphasias management will be more positive and that quality oflife will improve.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
aphasia, counseling in aphasia, depression in aphasia, mental health in aphasia, mental health professionals knowledge, mental health professionals knowledge of aphasia
Aphasia -- Study and teaching
Mental health personnel
Mental health education

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