Essay On Aphasia

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Aphasia is an acquired communication disorder that disrupts communication and it can deteriorate a person’s coping potential and quality of life (Parr, 2001) which involve damage to the parts of brain that contain language (ASHA, 2013). Statistics from United States indicated around 25-40% of stroke survivors developed aphasia (National Association of Aphasia, NAA, 2013). Aphasia will affect both the ability to produce or comprehend spoken language and written language while intelligence is left intact (NAA, 2013). In US, it is found that the most common cause of aphasia is stroke (85%) and others including Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), brain tumor or other degenerative diseases (NAA, 2013).

Stroke not only affect the life of the patient but also their significant others, especially the caregiver. Caregiver is identified as the “hidden patient” (Andolstek et al, 1988). Families maintain the primary care responsibility for elderly with chronic illness and disability (Montgomery et al, 1985). The effects of caregiving span across physical health (Grafstrom et al, 1992; Kiecolt-Glasier et al, 1991), mental well-being (Cochrane et al, 1997) and social life (Luterman, D. ,2008; Bakas et al, 2006).

Research illustrated connection between aphasia and depression (Robinson, Murata & Shimoda, 1999), social isolation (Sarno Taylor, 1997) and low self-esteem (Herrmann & Wallesch, 1989). Kauhanen and colleague (2000) conducted a research to investigate the prevalence and cause of post-stroke aphasia and to study the mental, neurological, and cognitive correlates with 106 patient who suffer from first ischemic stroke. The prevalence of major depression increased from 11 to 33% within the first year.

The caregivers not only had to deal with ...

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...rden and stress induced by the individuals with aphasia as a result of stroke on their caregivers. This was mainly due to communication breakdowns and the extensive care they need to provide them over a long period of time. We need local data as the context of Malaysia is different with overseas where such research are carried out such as United States and United Kingdom. The stroke care system in developing countries such as China and Malaysia are sparse with quality and quantity of stroke care varies between regions of different income (Brainin, 2007). Some provide excellent care but some area are in severe need for rehabilitation service, depending upon patients' location, socioeconomic status, education, and cultural beliefs (Brainin, 2007). All these factors will results in different rehabilitation outcome and thus affecting the burden on the caregiver as well.

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