A multinational comparison of aphasia management practices.


The effect of restructuring of healthcare on the quality, quantity, and nature of aphasia management is largely unknown. The current study is the first to examine access, diagnostic, treatment, and discharge patterns of patients with aphasia in Australia, Canada, the UK, the US private sector (US-Private), and the US Veterans Health Administration in the Department of Veterans Affairs (US-VA). The authors developed a 37-item survey to be completed by clinicians working with aphasic patients. The survey focused on eight areas: access to care, evaluation procedures, group treatment, number and duration of treatment sessions, limitations of the number of sessions, termination of treatment, follow-up practices, and resumption of treatment. 394 surveys were distributed and 175 were returned completed (44% return rate). Respondents represented a range of ages, work experiences, and work settings. There was considerable consistency among respondents from our five healthcare systems. Results suggest that patients may be routinely denied treatment in direct contradiction to the research literature. Just as we carefully monitor the progress of patients receiving our treatment, we are obliged to monitor the effects of managed care on our patients, fellow clinicians, and our profession.


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