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Interprofessional Caregiver Education, Training, and Wellness in the Context of a Cohort Model for Aphasia Rehabilitation

Off, Catherine A.; Griffin, Jenna R.; Murray, Kirsten W.; Milman, Lisa

doi: 10.1097/TLD.0000000000000171
Original Articles

Patient-centered care is extending the sphere of health care beyond the patient, focusing attention upon the family caregiver(s). In this context, patient–family relationships are at the center of consistent, well-developed interprofessional interventions that encompass caregiver education, training, and wellness. Cohort models of intervention include groups of patients who start and stop a program or intervention simultaneously. One such cohort-based service delivery model is an intensive comprehensive aphasia program (ICAP), which provides an ideal context in which to address holistic care for the person with aphasia and his or her family caregivers. The interprofessional family caregiver intervention program of the ICAP at the University of Montana is twofold: (1) speech–language pathologists and graduate student clinicians in speech–language pathology provide family caregiver education and resources, communication training, and psychosocial support and (2) a licensed professional counselor and counselor-in-training provide group counseling for family caregivers focusing on personal wellness, caregiving strategies, emotional health, and adaptation to significant life changes. The fusion of equitable interprofessional collaboration, along with the cohort model of the ICAP, allows for acquisition of knowledge, communication strategies, and coping skills along with the development of close, meaningful relationships with other caregivers and persons with aphasia.

Departments of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences (Dr Off and Ms Griffin) and Counselor Education (Dr Murray), University of Montana, Missoula; and Department of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education, Utah State University, Logan (Dr Milman).

Corresponding Author: Catherine A. Off, PhD, Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, University of Montana, 32 Campus Dr, Missoula, MT 59802 (catherine.off@umontana.edu).

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

The authors thank the family caregivers who inspired this work.

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