More than a story: My life came back to life

Katie A. Strong, Mary D. Lagerwey, Barbara B. Shadden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Social models of aphasia rehabilitation emphasize the importance of supporting identity renegotiation, which can be accomplished in part through personal narrative construction. The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of persons who had engaged in a project to coconstruct personal narratives about life with aphasia. Method: Qualitative interviews were conducted with 3 participants with aphasia who completed a 4-week personal narrative coconstruction project, which included preadministration and postadministration of the Communication Confidence Rating Scale for Aphasia (Cherney & Babbitt, 2011). Results were analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Results: Three themes were revealed: (a) More than a story: It changed my life validated the idea that the narrative coconstruction process supported a positive view of identity; (b) A positive experience captured the participants’ enjoyment in coconstructing and sharing their story; (c) Hope engendered by the coconstruction experience empowered participants with new levels of confidence not only in their communication skills but also in themselves. Conclusions: This study provided insight into the experience of coconstructing personal narratives using a structured protocol. Participants experienced the project as a positive, meaningful opportunity to actively contemplate their life and look forward. The study has implications for clinicians considering support of identity renegotiation in aphasia rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-476
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Volume27
Issue number1S
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2018

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