To determine factors that contribute to living well with aphasia in the first 12 months poststroke.
Prospective longitudinal cohort study.
Hospitalized care, ambulatory care, and general community.
A referred sample of people (N=58) with a first incidence of aphasia after stroke was assessed at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months postonset. Participants were recruited through speech-language pathologists in 2 capital cities in Australia. Presence of aphasia was determined through the Western Aphasia Battery-Revised by an experienced speech-language pathologist.
Main Outcome Measures
The main outcomes were the 5 domains of the Assessment for Living with Aphasia at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months poststroke. The independent variables included demographics, physical functioning, social network, mood, aphasia severity, and a self-rating of successfully living with aphasia at the same time points. Mixed effects modeling was used to determine which factors contributed to the trajectory of each of the 5 domains of participation, impairment, environment, personal factors, and life with aphasia.
Higher household income, larger social network size, being a woman, and having milder aphasia were positively associated with the participation domain. Graduate or postgraduate educational levels, low mood, and poor physical functioning were negatively associated with the participation domain. Factors positively associated with other domains included higher income, self-ratings of successfully living with aphasia, and aphasia severity. Low mood was consistently negatively associated with all of the domains.
Psychosocial determinants were the most significant predictors of living well with aphasia in the first 12 months postonset. Aphasia rehabilitation needs to attend more to these factors to optimize outcomes.
List of abbreviations:ALA (Assessment for Living with Aphasia)
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Published online: July 22, 2016
Supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council in Australia (grant no. 631464).
© 2016 by the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine