Measuring quality of life in aphasia: results from two scales
Bose, A., McHugh, T., Schollenberger, H. and Buchanan, L. (2009) Measuring quality of life in aphasia: results from two scales. Aphasiology, 23 (7-8). pp. 797-808. ISSN 1464-5041
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1080/02687030802593189
Background: Although aphasia affects quality of life (QoL), the impact within specific domains (e.g., psychosocial, communication) is poorly understood. Moreover, the complex and multidimensional nature of QoL renders it difficult to measure accurately using a single global scale. Aims: Using two recently developed QoL scales, the Stroke and Aphasia Quality of Life Scale-39, (SAQOL; Hilari, Byng, Lamping, & Smith, 2003a) and the American Speech Language Hearing Association’s Quality of Communication Life Scale (QCL; Paul et al., 2004), this study aimed to document the domains of QoL that were most affected for participants with aphasia compared to control participants, as well as to determine the relationship between the two scales, their sub-domains, and linguistic variables in aphasia. Methods & Procedures: The two scales were administered to a group of 19 participants with aphasia (14 male, 5 female), ages ranging from 27 to 79 years, and 19 age- and gender-matched control participants. Various types and severity of aphasia were represented in the aphasia group. The performances of aphasia and control groups were compared, and correlation analyses examined the relationship between the two scales and their sub-domains in the aphasia group only. Outcomes & Results: Compared to control participants, QoL was lower in participants with aphasia, with the communication sub-domain of SAQOL and socialisation/ activities sub-domain of QCL being the most affected areas of functioning. Between the two scales, the communication sub-domain of SAQOL correlated with the socialisation/ activities sub-domain and the QCL mean. Moreover, linguistic variables correlated strongly with psychosocial, communication and socialisation/activities sub-domains of QoL. Conclusions: Measuring QoL using the SAQOL and the QCL captures different but equally important aspects of experiences of living with aphasia. When interpreted together, they provide a holistic picture of functioning in aphasia that includes broad overviews of QoL from the SAQOL and a finer-grained analysis of communication impairments on QoL from the QCL.