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Public awareness of aphasia – results of a Swedish sample

Journal article
Authors Ingrid Henriksson
Andreas Hjertén
Jesper Zackariasson
Linda Davidsson
Amanda Andersson Damberg
Charlotta Saldert
Martin J. Ball
Nicole Müller
Published in Aphasiology
Volume 33
Issue 1
ISSN 0268-7038
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Health and Rehabilitation
Language en
Keywords Aphasia, knowledge of aphasia, public awareness, Sweden
Subject categories Logopedics and phoniatrics


© 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group Background: Public awareness of a condition like aphasia may affect service provision and everyday life communication for people affected by the condition. Nevertheless, studies have shown that the public awareness of aphasia is low in many countries. Aims: This study explores awareness and knowledge of aphasia among the general public in Sweden. Methods & Procedures: We describe two surveys on the public awareness of aphasia undertaken using convenience samples in four different cities in southern Sweden. The questionnaire was closely based on those used in previous studies of aphasia awareness around the world. A total of 372 participants were recruited. Results are presented in terms of whether participants had heard of aphasia or not, and in the case that they had heard of it, whether they had a basic knowledge of the condition. Further analyses were undertaken on these three groups of participants: their gender and age distributions, educational background, what they knew about aphasia, and where they had learnt about it. Outcomes & Results: The results are discussed in comparison with similar surveys elsewhere, and we note the comparatively high percentage of participants who have heard of aphasia in our survey though, mirroring previous surveys, the amount of knowledge was often limited or incorrect. Unlike in other surveys, no clear relation was found between gender and awareness of aphasia, or education and awareness of aphasia. Age profiles and the source of participants’ information about aphasia were similar to earlier studies: that is, older people seem to have more aphasia awareness than younger people do. Further, media like TV, radio, newspapers, and magazines were the most often reported source for knowledge of aphasia. Conclusions: There is a need for further work to increase public awareness of aphasia and different forms of public media may play an important role in this endeavour.

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