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Relationship-centered communication training (Pertab et al., 2024)

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posted on 2024-06-05, 19:06 authored by Kathryn-Anne Pertab, Tyson G. Harmon, Jonathan Sandberg, Jon L. Pertab, William S. Evans

Purpose: This study explored the acceptability and impact of relationship-centered communication partner training (RC-CPT) in couples impacted by aphasia. In particular, couples considered whether discussing their relationship roles and responsibilities was important and relevant to the changes they desire. Preliminary quasi-experimental data regarding perceived communication confidence and the marriage relationship were also obtained.

Method: Three couples participated in RC-CPT across two sessions. Surveys were used to measure communication confidence and the marital relationship before and after participation in RC-CPT. The quantitative findings were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Couples also participated in a semistructured interview about the acceptability of RC-CPT during a third session. The interviews were transcribed and analyzed using reflexive codebook analysis.

Results: Quantitative data indicated that participants generally maintained or improved self-rated accessibility, responsiveness, engagement, conflict resolution, and communication within their marriage after participating in RC-CPT. Additionally, individuals with aphasia demonstrated enhanced communication confidence scores. Qualitative analysis revealed three themes: (a) Impact on Communication, (b) Impact on Relationship, and (c) Impact on Psychosocial Well-Being. Feedback from participants regarding future development was also included.

Conclusions: The convergence of quantitative and qualitative data supports the conclusion that couples experienced positive changes in their communication, relationship, and psychosocial well-being during the intervention, suggesting that RC-CPT has the potential to positively impact both communicative and psychosocial effects of aphasia on couples. Moreover, this study highlights the promise of RC-CPT as a relationship-centered counseling tool, warranting further exploratory and experimental research.

Supplemental Material S1. Communication partner training module protocol.

Supplemental Material S2. Communication partner training module.

Supplemental Material S3. Communication partner training module worksheet.

Supplemental Material S4. Relationship-centered communication partner training protocol.

Supplemental Material S5. Relationship-centered communication partner training protocol visuals.

Supplemental Material S6. Relationship roles questionnaire: clinician form.

Supplemental Material S7. Relationship roles questionnaire: example of visual supports for response scales. Note that additional visual supports were provided that are not depicted here.

Supplemental Material S8. Relationship roles questionnaire: partner form.

Supplemental Material S9. Relationship roles questionnaire: worksheet.

Supplemental Material S10. Relationship roles questionnaire: worksheet visuals.

Supplemental Material S11. Semistructured interview guide.

Pertab, K.-A., Harmon, T. G., Sandberg, J., Pertab, J. L., & Evans, W. S. (2024). The acceptability of relationship-centered communication partner training for couples impacted by aphasia: A mixed-methods pilot investigation. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Advance online publication.

Publisher Note: This article is part of the Special Issue: Select Papers From the 52nd Clinical Aphasiology Conference.


Financial support for this work was provided by the David O. McKay School of Education and an American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Advancing Academic-Research Careers award, awarded to Tyson G. Harmon.