Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department or School

Special Education and Communication Sciences and Disorders

Committee Member

Sarah M. Ginsberg, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Naomi Hashimoto, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Katie Ann Strong, Ph.D.


Aphasia is an acquired communication disorder, often resulting from a stroke, that impacts millions of Americans. People with aphasia (PWA) may frequent the hospital for a number of services poststroke and are often accompanied by their primary communication partners (PCP), the person with whom the PWA communicates with the most. This qualitative study explored the experiences of four dyads of PWA and their PCPs’ perspectives on communicating with healthcare providers (HCPs). Findings indicated that there are attributes of HCP interactions which contribute to patient-perceived success, such as collaboration with PCPs, and aphasia knowledge. These attributes were also associated with patient-centered care. In addition, dyads spoke about the importance of their PWA-PCP teamwork in approaching HCP interactions, with PCP advocacy, background, and flexibility contributing to successful teamwork. This study suggests that areas in which participants were dissatisfied with HCP services may be remedied by communication partner training for HCPs and PCPs.