ASHA journals
S1_AJSLP-23-00205Archer.pdf (545.34 kB)

Perspectives: Friends who stayed after aphasia (Archer et al., 2024)

Download (545.34 kB)
Version 2 2024-01-12, 23:31
Version 1 2023-12-04, 18:26
posted on 2024-01-12, 23:31 authored by Brent Archer, Jamie H. Azios, Natalie F. Douglas, Katie A. Strong, Linda Worrall, Nina Simmons-Mackie

Purpose: Aphasia may decrease the capacity to develop and maintain friendships. The aim of this study was to better understand the perspectives of people with aphasia on why some friendship bonds remain strong and some do not. Furthermore, we wanted to explore how age and aphasia severity shape views on friendship.

Method: We interviewed 27 people with aphasia about their experiences of friendship before and after the onset of aphasia. We then used framework analysis and reflexive thematic analysis to interpret the interview data.

Results: From the interviews, we created four major themes concerning how friend relationships had been impacted by aphasia: (a) Not all bonds have the same chance of surviving the onset of aphasia; (b) people with aphasia’s closest friends took active steps to keep relationships strong; (c) if friends knew some basic information about aphasia, bonds would stay stronger; (d) positive affective aspects of friendship play an important role in keeping bonds strong. We also noted differences in friendship experiences that appeared to be influenced by age and aphasia severity of participants.

Conclusions: Interview data provided actionable ideas including focusing on friends who are likely to be responsive to help with maintaining the friendship, providing them with strategies to keep the friendship active and communication meaningful, and acknowledging the positive impact that this will have on the friend recovering from aphasia. More research is needed to develop programs that empower people with aphasia to maintain their friendships.

Supplemental Material S1. Number of participants within each category of sampling dimensions (age, aphasia severity, cis man/woman).

Archer, B., Azios, J. H., Douglas, N. F., Strong, K. A., Worrall, L., & Simmons-Mackie, N. (2024). “I could not talk . . . she did everything . . . she’s now my sister”: People with aphasia’s perspectives on friends who stuck around. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 33(1), 349–368.


Funding for this project was provided by the Tavistock Trust for Aphasia and the Texas Speech-Language-Hearing Association Foundation.


Usage metrics

    American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology



    Ref. manager