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Evaluation of aphasia in a culturally and linguistically diverse context: Practices of and challenges faced by speech-language pathologists
  • Fatimah Hani Hassan,
  • Pei-Whey Heng,
  • Rahayu Mustaffa Kamal
Fatimah Hani Hassan
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
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Pei-Whey Heng
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Rahayu Mustaffa Kamal
International Islamic University Malaysia - Kuantan Campus
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Abstract

Rationale, aims and objectives: Cultural and linguistic diversity is a major challenge faced by speech-language pathologists (SLPs) in conducting evaluation of aphasia, especially in low-resource regions. Without proper consideration of cultural and linguistic issues when adapting English-based language tests to other languages, performance of individual with aphasia may not be valid and reliable. The present study was conducted: (a) to identify the practices of SLPs in conducting aphasia evaluation in Malaysia, which is a country consisting of multiethnic populations, and (b) to determine challenges faced by SLPs when conducting aphasia evaluation involving a diverse group of individuals. Methods: An online survey was distributed to SLPs who are practicing in Malaysia involved in the management of aphasia during the period of data collection. The questionnaire was developed to gather data on participants’ background, their practices in evaluating people with aphasia, and challenges that they face related to aphasia evaluation. Proportions were calculated for each item in the questionnaire to determine patterns related to background information, SLP practices and related challenges. Results: Malaysian SLPs were found to gather information about their patients via interviews with caregivers, medical records, and direct testing and observation. Abilities of people with aphasia that were consistently reported to be assessed frequently include auditory language comprehension, verbal expression, repetition of words and sentences, and social communication. Two major challenges identified were linguistic barrier and lack of standardized assessment tools for aphasia evaluation. Conclusions: There are some similarities in terms of SLP practices and challenges faced by the participants in comparison with other studies conducted in diverse contexts. Issues related to cultural and linguistic diversity complicates the development of appropriate resources for aphasia evaluation. Consideration of those issues in development of original and adapted evaluation tools may improve the accuracy of diagnosis, identification of severity, and planning of intervention.

Peer review status:POSTED

16 Sep 2020Submitted to Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice
16 Sep 2020Assigned to Editor
16 Sep 2020Submission Checks Completed