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South African Journal of Communication Disorders

On-line version ISSN 2225-4765
Print version ISSN 0379-8046


MASUKU, Khetsiwe P.; KHUMALO, Gift  and  SHABANGU, Nontokozo. The effects of COVID-19 on the rehabilitation of persons with aphasia: A scoping review. S. Afr. J. Commun. Disord. [online]. 2022, vol.69, n.2, pp.1-9. ISSN 2225-4765.

BACKGROUND: The impact of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic was more pronounced on the well-being of persons with disabilities, especially in low- and middle-income countries. There is documented evidence of the rippling effects of COVID-19 on persons with disabilities. However, not much is known about the impact of COVID-19 on the rehabilitation of persons with aphasia OBJECTIVE: The scoping review explores how COVID-19 affected the rehabilitation of persons living with aphasia METHOD: A scoping review was conducted using Arksey and O'Malley's framework. A search was conducted on Science Direct, PubMed, Medline, Scopus, ProQuest and Google Scholar, to identify relevant studies published between 2019 and 2022. Data were analysed using thematic analysis RESULTS: Most studies regarding the effects of COVID-19 on persons living with aphasia were conducted in the United Kingdom. Five themes emerged from the data, namely, (1) negative impact on rehabilitative care, (2) telehealth and its limitations, (3) impact on social participation, (4) compromised caregiver involvement and (5) mental health challenges CONCLUSIONS: Findings highlight the need for healthcare professionals to pursue innovative ways in which aphasia rehabilitation and conversational support programmes can be made accessible to persons with aphasia, despite the limitations brought about by a pandemic. Telerehabilitation programmes need to be tailored to the needs of persons with aphasia if they are to be successful. This study highlights the importance and need for the prioritisation of mental health services for persons with aphasia and their caregivers during a pandemic

Keywords : aphasia; COVID-19 pandemic; rehabilitation; telehealth; social participation.

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