A collaborative approach to supporting communication in the assessment of decision-making capacity

Zuscak, Simon John and Peisah, Carmelle and Ferguson, Alison (2016) A collaborative approach to supporting communication in the assessment of decision-making capacity. Disability and Rehabilitation, 38 (11). pp. 1107-1114. ISSN 0963-8288


Purpose: This paper explores the clinical implications of acquired communication disorders in decisional capacity. Discipline-specific contributions are discussed in a multidisciplinary context, with a specific focus on the role of speech and language pathologists (SLPs).

Method: Key rehabilitation issues in determining decisional capacity are identified. The impact of communication impairment on capacity is discussed in light of the research literature relating to supportive communication and collaborative practice that respects human rights.

Results: Guidelines are presented for professionals involved in the assessment of the decisional capacity of individuals with communication disorders of neurological origin. They guide an assessor through: assessing cognition, language and speech; determining preferred communication domains; and practical strategies and considerations for maximising communication.

Conclusion: There is a dearth of guidelines available that deal with augmenting and supporting communication of individuals with acquired communication disorders of neurological origin when it comes to assessing legal
decision-making capacity. Capacity assessment is a multidisciplinary realm, and the involvement of SLPs is key to maximising the decision-making capacity of these individuals.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology and Counselling
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2018 06:21
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2018 05:41
Uncontrolled Keywords: aphasia, cognitive communication disorder, decision-making assessments, human rights
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1702 Cognitive Sciences > 170202 Decision Making
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170109 Personality, Abilities and Assessment
Identification Number or DOI: 10.3109/09638288.2015.1092176
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/34900

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