An interprofessional approach to promoting autonomous decision-making for clients who are aphasic

Jessie Johnson, Sarah Westgate, Linda Oliver


Often times interprofessional health care team members presume individuals with aphasia due to stroke lack the capacity to participate in and contribute to decision-making. This belief may hinder the client’s participation in the decision-making process. Two main impairments resulting from stroke, that impede communication and limit capacity for autonomous participation in decision-making, are aphasia and cognitive deficits. Reduced capacity for communication in the client with stroke, combined with complexity in health team dialogue and process, may further diminish the individual’s ability to engage in autonomous decision-making. Health team members need to use reliable methods and devise new methods which can more accurately measure capacity for autonomous decision-making. This review elucidates the necessity for (1) autonomous decision-making in persons with aphasia, (2) assessing the need for capacity, (3) concrete ways to assess cognitive function, and (4) interprofessional team decision-making.

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International Journal of Healthcare  ISSN 2377-7338(Print)  ISSN 2377-7346(Online)

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