Background: The increase in the number of reported conversation partner programmes for conversation partners of people with aphasia demonstrates increased awareness of partner needs and the positive effect of trained partners on the communicative abilities of the person with aphasia. Predominantly small-scale studies describe the effectiveness of conversation partner training (CPT) and how partners perceive this training. The view of partners on this service commission remains largely unknown. Aims: To explore the experiences of partners of people with aphasia with a CPT programme when it was newly introduced into rehabilitation settings. Methods & Procedures: Seventeen partners of people with aphasia were interviewed using a semi-structured format about their experience with Partners of Aphasic Clients Conversation Training (PACT). Transcribed interviews were analysed using qualitative content analysis. Outcomes & Results: Four categories representative of the practical nature and individual tailoring of PACT were identified: engaging with PACT; learning from PACT; reflecting on behaviour and emotions; and experiences with earlier speech and language therapy (SLT). Two themes were identified cutting across all categories: the nature of communication is difficult to grasp; and balancing roles as partner, carer and client. Conclusions & Implications: Partners appreciated the training programme once their initial lack of awareness of the interactive nature of communication had been addressed. SLTs need to be clear about the collaborative nature of conversations and what can be offered within the rehabilitation trajectory to address conversation alongside language training.

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International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

Wielaert, S., Berns, P. (Philine), van de Sandt-Koenderman, M., Dammers, N. (Nina), & Sage, K. (2017). ‘Now it is about me having to learn something ….’ Partners’ experiences with a Dutch conversation partner training programme (PACT). International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 52(2), 143–154. doi:10.1111/1460-6984.12248