Aphasia rehabilitation when speech pathologists and clients do not share the same language: a scoping review

Chelsea S. Larkman, Kathleen Mellahn, Weifeng Han, Miranda L. Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Growing cultural and linguistic diversity globally is increasingly requiring speech pathologists to provide effective and equitable aphasia rehabilitation to clients with whom they do not share a language. Little is known about how rehabilitation is being adapted and provided when a language mismatch arises between the therapist and the client. 

Aims: This scoping review aims to systematically map the evidence related to aphasia rehabilitation when the speech pathologist and the client do not share a language. A comprehensive search was conducted in September 2020. Twenty studies comprising surveys and/or interviews and descriptive publications were reviewed. 

Main Contribution: Speech pathologists frequently report a lack of confidence, skill, and preparation to work with culturally and linguistically diverse clients with aphasia. Furthermore, there is a shortage of published evidence, guidelines, resources, and access to interpreters to support their practice. 

Conclusions: Further research is needed into aphasia rehabilitation when there is no shared language between client and speech pathologist, with particular attention to the therapy approach selected and adaptations required for the target language and culture. Information is needed concerning how the speech pathologist and interpreter work together, as well as the experiences of interpreters and people with aphasia and their families.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-657
Number of pages23
Issue number4
Early online date9 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Aphasia rehabilitation
  • CALD
  • interpreters
  • limited English proficiency


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