Patient Perspectives of a University-Based Intensive Comprehensive Aphasia Program for Stroke Survivors with Aphasia

Catherine A. Off, Anya A. Leyhe, Carolyn R. Baylor, Jenna Griffin-Musick, Kirsten Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Stroke survivors with aphasia who participate in intensive post-acute aphasia rehabilitation programs make a variety of significant investments. As the number of Intensive Comprehensive Aphasia Programs (ICAPs) increase across healthcare settings worldwide, patient perspectives of this innovative service delivery become increasingly important. Stakeholder perspectives can provide meaningful contributions to intervention implementation, growth, and sustainability. Aims: The purpose of this pilot study was to qualitatively explore patient perspectives about the experience of participating in a university-based ICAP implemented by graduate student clinicians. Methods & Procedures: Researchers used an interpretive phenomenological approach to analyze nine structured interviews from five stroke survivors with aphasia who described their lived experiences during an ICAP. Thematic analysis involved an iterative and collaborative coding process. Transcripts were coded and themes were developed from the patients’ shared perspectives. Trustworthiness was maximized through acknowledgement of the researchers’ positionality and bias, variation in the sample, member checks, and sustained relationships between stakeholders. Outcomes & Results: Three primary themes emerged from patient interviews: (1) the ICAP is hard work; (2) the impact of the ICAP on communication is noticeable, and (3) relationships “make” the ICAP. Conclusions: Themes support emerging evidence that ICAPs implemented by graduate student clinicians may be a worthwhile investment for many stroke survivors with aphasia, thereby contributing to the cost-benefit utility and implementation feasibility of this service delivery model. Stroke survivors with aphasia reported mixed levels of acceptability pertaining to the perceptible impact on communication improvement, and the challenging, rewarding, frequent, and varied opportunities to interact with others.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-49
Number of pages28
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2024


  • Intensive Comprehensive Aphasia Program (ICAP)
  • aphasia rehabilitation
  • cohort model
  • patient and public involvement (PPI)
  • patient perspectives


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