Texting Behaviors of Individuals With Chronic Aphasia: A Descriptive Study

Laura E. Kinsey, Jaime B. Lee, Elissa M. Larkin, Leora R. Cherney*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: In today’s digital world, text messaging is one of the most widely used ways that people stay connected. Although it is reported that people with aphasia experience difficulties with texting, little information is available about how they actually do text. This study reports texting behaviors, such as the number and type of messages sent and contacts individuals with aphasia have. The relationships between texting behaviors and aphasia severity, including writing impairments, and social connectedness are explored. Method: Twenty participants were sampled from an ongoing randomized clinical trial investigating an electronic writing treatment for aphasia (Clinical Trials Identifier: NCT03773419). Participants provided consent for researchers to view and analyze texts sent and received over a 7-day period immediately prior to the assessment. Participants’ text messages were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and coded. Results: Over the 7-day period, the number of contacts with whom participants texted ranged from one to 18. The mean number of text messages exchanged was 40.3 (SD = 48.24), with participants sending an average of 15.4 (SD = 23.45) texts and receiving an average of 24.9 (SD = 29.44) texts. Participants varied in the types of texts sent; some had a larger proportion of initiated texts, while others drafted more responses, either simple or elaborative in nature. There was no correlation between the total number of texting exchanges and the Western Aphasia Battery–Revised Aphasia Quotient (rs =.13,p =. 29) or the Western Aphasia Battery–Revised Writing subtest (rs =.05,p =.42). There was also no correlation between the total number of texting exchanges and scores on measures of social connectedness. Conclusions: Texting behaviors of individuals with aphasia are widely variable. Demographics, severity of aphasia and writing, and social connectedness may not predict texting behaviors. Therefore, it is clinically important to explore the unique texting abilities and preferences of each individual to meet their communication and social participation goals. Supplemental Material: https://doi.org/10.23641/asha. 14669664.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-112
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican journal of speech-language pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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