Paid worker and unfamiliar partner communication training: A scoping review.

Elsevier BV
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of communication disorders, 2020, 83
Issue Date:
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BACKGROUND:Communication partner training could be employed to train people working in the community to facilitate interaction with individuals who live with a variety of communication disorders. However, current evidence syntheses are limited to a single disorder (e.g., aphasia) and focus on a variety of familiar and unfamiliar communication partners. An understanding of the scope of literature across the evidence-base of acquired neurological populations may provide a better basis to develop interventions and future research tailored for community workers. AIMS:To explore the scope of literature on paid worker and unfamiliar partner communication training for acquired neurogenic communication disorders with a focus on describing: 1) the types of communication disorders addressed by interventions; 2) the types of learners who received the interventions; 3) the nature of the interventions; and 4) the reported effects on trainees and people with a communication disorder. METHODS & PROCEDURES:A scoping review was conducted. Studies were selected by a systematic keyword search, undertaken through four databases. Eligibility criteria included studies that: (i) reported an intervention directed at paid workers or unfamiliar partners where the primary goal was to improve communication with people with acquired neurogenic communication disorders, (ii) reported original results, (iii) contained quantitative or qualitative data on the effects of the intervention, (iv) were written in English or French and (v) were published in a peer-reviewed journal. The PRISMA-ScR was used to guide design and reporting of the scoping review. RESULTS:Seventy publications met the inclusion criteria. Interventions were mostly disorder-specific and addressed communication with people with dementia, aphasia or traumatic brain injury. 15/70 studies examined training programs that were not restructured to a specific population (e.g., aphasia). Learners were mostly working or studying in the healthcare field and only 2/70 studies included community workers without primarily health training. Sixty different interventions were reported and were mostly delivered by speech-language pathologists. Training varied in terms of duration (a few minutes to 46 h) and content, but many shared training methods (e.g., presentation of theory on communication disorders). Nearly all studies demonstrated positive results, 23/26 studies suggested that paid worker and unfamiliar partner communication training may increase the knowledge of trainees, 24/26 studies suggested that it could improve their confidence when interacting with people with a communication disorder and 44/46 studies suggested that it could improve the trainees' communication abilities. CONCLUSION:A small developing evidence-base exists for communication training programs for paid and unfamiliar communications partners that focuses beyond a single diagnosis or disorder. However, there is very limited knowledge on interventions for community workers from non-health professions. Future research should focus on the evaluation of existing programs tailored to, or explicitly designed for this context with the aim of identifying active ingredients that lead to improved and sustainable outcomes.
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