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Amelioration, regeneration, acquiescent and discordant: an exploration of narrative types and metaphor use in people with aphasia

Aphasia is an acquired communication impairment that affects a person’s ability to use and understand language. The aim of this study was to explore the narrative types and metaphors expressed by people with aphasia, to enhance insight into this experience. A qualitative narrative approach using videoed semi-structured interviews was undertaken with 11 people with aphasia. The transcribed data were analysed for underlying narratives and metaphors. Four types of narratives, labelled amelioration, regeneration, acquiescent and discordant, along with 13 conceptual metaphors used by persons with aphasia to convey their stroke experiences were identified. Metaphors specific to aphasia included aphasia as a thief, aphasia as a barrier, aphasia as a gift and aphasia as enlightenment. These findings facilitate understanding of the experience of aphasia and highlight the different narratives that may be used by the individual to make sense of and respond to their aphasia.

from Disability & Society