Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format



Master of Science


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Murray, Laura L.


Aphasia is one of the most common consequences of stroke and affects the communication and social functioning of approximately 30-35% of stroke survivors. Despite the importance of speech-language pathology (SLP) services for individuals with post-stroke aphasia, aphasia rehabilitation services in sub-Saharan Africa are riddled with challenges. Through interviews, demographic information, and syllabi reviews, we examined the SLP assessment and treatment services available for individuals with post-stroke aphasia in Ghana and the challenges the stakeholder groups encounter in providing and identifying such services. Results of the study identified challenges with the current post-stroke aphasia services in Ghana, and thus the need to improve SLP services for individuals with post-stroke aphasia in Ghana. The process of data collection itself educated respondents on the importance of rehabilitation of post-stroke aphasia; by identifying barriers, strategies to improving services can now be initiated.

Summary for Lay Audience

The occurrence of stroke in the world in general and in Ghana in particular can be attributed to the ever-increasing population of older adults who are mostly at greatest risk of cardiovascular diseases. Aphasia, one of the common consequences of stroke, affects the individual’s communication and participation in social activities. The communication abilities and quality of life of individuals affected by aphasia can be improved through speech-language pathology (SLP) services. The few number of speech-language pathologists (SLPs) in African countries like Ghana has been a major problem for assessing and treating individuals with post-stroke aphasia. However, Ghana is making an effort to educate and train more potential SLPs to provide SLP services to individuals with communication disorders. This study explored the assessment and treatment services provided to individuals with post-stroke aphasia in Ghana, the challenges encountered in providing the services, and the education and training given to potential SLPs to assess and treat individuals with post-stroke aphasia. Although aphasia rehabilitation was practiced, the current study identified concerns such as, lack of awareness of SLP services and financial challenges with the current aphasia services in Ghana.