This article proposes that studying the commonalities between the effect of dementia and aphasia (post stroke language impairment) on communication could result in greater sharing of clinically relevant interventions. To date the separate study has resulted in significant separation of these diagnostic groups. This article describes similarities in the conversations of five people with dementia and their spouses and five people with aphasia and their spouses. They describe this in terms of feedback signals and methods of repairing a conversation. The results highlight that repair is often used between people with aphasia and their spouses and more often between people with dementia and their spouses. In both circumstances it was the patient themselves that initiated the repair sequence and tried to resolve the issue. People with dementia may take slightly longer to resolve these issues but both use common repair strategies. This does indeed highlight the commonalities across communication difficulties in dementia and aphasia that may benefit from common conversation training interventions. Conversation training has the potential to improve effectiveness of conversations, quality of relationships and in a society where the NHS and social services are struggling to support people with dementia, this type of intervention could keep people at home for longer. This is where sharing and translating success across diagnostic groups could have a real impact on clinical resources.

Collaboration, trouble and repair in multiparty interactions involving couples with dementia or aphasia.
Samuelsson C, Hydé NLC.
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Anna Volkmer

UCL, London, UK.

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