Interaction-focussed therapy for aphasia: effects on communication and quality of life

Scott Barnes*, Lyndsey Nickels

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: This study examined the effects of an interaction-focussed therapy for aphasia, which involved both people with aphasia and their familiar conversation partners. It was hypothesised the interaction-focussed therapy would lead to positive changes in targeted conversation behaviours, and improved quality of life for participants with aphasia. Method: Three people with chronic aphasia and three of their familiar conversation partners completed an 8-week interaction-focussed therapy programme. A series of single case multiple-baseline ABA experiments were conducted. Outcome measures focussed on changes in targeted behaviours between pre- and post-therapy conversation samples, and changes in quality of life. Result: All participant dyads improved their conversations. Familiar conversation partners demonstrated significant changes in targeted behaviours, while only one participant with aphasia achieved significant improvements. There was little evidence of a positive impact on quality of life for participants with aphasia. Conclusion: Interaction-focussed therapy enhances everyday communication for people with aphasia and their conversation partners. However, the complex nature of learning in this intervention means that further, likely interdisciplinary work is required to better understand what mediates skill acquisition and therapeutic change and its psychosocial impact. This information is particularly important for optimising interaction-focussed therapy for people with aphasia.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)528-540
    Number of pages13
    JournalInternational Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
    Issue number5
    Early online date27 Jun 2017
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


    • aphasia
    • conversation partner training
    • adult learning


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