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Communication partner training

Best Practice Statement

This statement have been developed by the NHMRC CCRE in Aphasia Rehabilitation in accordance with the most up to date research and expert opinion.


Communication partner training should be provided to improve the communicative environment provided by frequent communication partners for the person with aphasia.

Reference: Simmons-Mackie et al., 2010
NHMRC level of Evidence: I

Communication partner training was shown to be an effective approach for improving communication activities and/or participation of some communication partners.

Communication partner training

Simmons-Mackie et al completed a review on conversation partner training interventions. Of the 31 included studies, 5 addressed training of health care providers or volunteers. Two of these were randomised control trials. Both used strategies based on the principles of Supported Conversation for Adults with Aphasia (SCATM). Results from this systematic review demonstrated that communication partner training is effective in improving communication participation of persons with chronic aphasia and that of their of trained communication partner. 


  1. Visit the Aphasia Institute website for:
    i)  Communication Tools: Communicative Access and Supported Conversation for Adults (SCATM)  - a section designed for health care professionals.
    ii) a self-directed learning module for Supported Conversation for Adults with Aphasia (SCATM).
  2.  Visit the National Aphasia Association for top tips for communicating with a person with aphasia.
  3. Visit the NSW Speech Pathology Evidence Based Practice (EBP) website to view critically appraised papers on communication partner training. 


  1. Simmons-Mackie, N., Raymer, A., Armstrong, E., Holland, A., & Cherney, L., R. (2010).Communication partner training in aphasia: a systematic review. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabiliation, 91(12), 1814-1837. 


+61 7 3365 2891

Professor Linda Worrall
The University of Queensland
ST LUCIA QLD 4072   



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