Participant reported outcomes of a community of practice about social participation for speech-language pathologists in aphasia rehabilitation

Purpose: Because of their communication difficulties, persons with aphasia are at risk of not fully participating in significant activities after rehabilitation. Speech-language pathologists can contribute to support optimal social participation in rehabilitation. A community of practice (CoP) was designed to provide motivated clinicians with opportunities to acquire knowledge and reflect on social participation within aphasia rehabilitation. The aim of this study was to describe the outcomes of this CoP according to the perspectives of speech-language pathologist participants.

Methods: Semi-structured individual interviews were conducted 4 to 10 weeks after the end of the CoP with 13 speech-language pathologist participants. Analyses were guided by grounded theory.

Results: Participants perceived that the CoP experience contributed to a better alignment of their practice with the ideal end purpose of optimizing social participation. A sense of community emerged among CoP members, who collectively reflected on their practice. Participants stated feeling equipped to adopt new practices, adopting new practices for optimizing social participation, and/or advocating for better services for persons with aphasia. They felt increased confidence, motivation, well-being, and/or energy towards their practice.

Conclusions: CoPs can help speech-language pathologists to more confidently practice with the goal of optimizing the social participation of persons with aphasia.Implications for rehabilitation

Speech-language pathologists in aphasia rehabilitation, as a result of being involved in a community of practice (CoP) about social participation, may offer more evidence-based services aiming at optimizing the social participation of persons with aphasia.

Markers of a successful CoP may include participants’ increased feelings of confidence, motivation, well-being, and/or energy towards their practice.

CoPs can be used for continuing education purposes and support the development of clinical expertise among professionals, such as speech-language pathologists in aphasia rehabilitation.

Speech-language pathologists in aphasia rehabilitation, as a result of being involved in a community of practice (CoP) about social participation, may offer more evidence-based services aiming at optimizing the social participation of persons with aphasia.

Markers of a successful CoP may include participants’ increased feelings of confidence, motivation, well-being, and/or energy towards their practice.

CoPs can be used for continuing education purposes and support the development of clinical expertise among professionals, such as speech-language pathologists in aphasia rehabilitation.