Communication changes experienced by adults with cerebral palsy as they age

Dark, Leigha Jane, Clemson, Lindy and Balandin, Susan 2016, Communication changes experienced by adults with cerebral palsy as they age, International journal of speech-language pathology, vol. 18, no. 6, pp. 521-532, doi: 10.3109/17549507.2016.1143976.

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Title Communication changes experienced by adults with cerebral palsy as they age
Author(s) Dark, Leigha Jane
Clemson, Lindy
Balandin, SusanORCID iD for Balandin, Susan
Journal name International journal of speech-language pathology
Volume number 18
Issue number 6
Start page 521
End page 532
Total pages 12
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2016
ISSN 1754-9507
Keyword(s) communication
cerebral palsy
complex communication needs (CCN)
Summary PURPOSE: Adults with cerebral palsy (CP) experience multiple, functional changes as they age, including changes to communication modes and methods that enable development and maintenance of relationships, communicative participation and quality-of-life. Little is known about the nature of communication changes experienced by this group. The aim of this study was to better understand how adults with CP experience changes in their communication abilities as they age and the subsequent psychosocial impact.

METHOD: Twenty adults with cerebral palsy aged 40-72 years with complex communication needs (CCN) participated in a series of in-depth interviews, framing their experiences of loss and grief throughout their lives. The impact of changing communication abilities emerged as an important area of focus. Data were analysed using constructivist grounded theory methodology.

RESULT: Themes arising from the participants' perceptions of their communication included experiencing communication change as a loss with subsequent impact on self-concept; and how communication is integral to the process of managing losses associated with older age.

CONCLUSION: Implications for speech-language pathologists working with older people with cerebral palsy and CCN include the need to understand the psychosocial impact of communication changes on social interaction, relationships and communicative participation. It is important to promote positive and meaningful communication options that maintain a coherent sense of self in addition to promoting functional communication skills and communicative participation.
Language eng
DOI 10.3109/17549507.2016.1143976
Field of Research 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
1702 Cognitive Science
Socio Economic Objective 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, The Speech Pathology Association of Australia
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Health and Social Development
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