Waiting on the words: Procedures and outcomes of a drama class for individuals with aphasia

Leora R. Cherney*, Ann K. Oehring, Keith Whipple, Ted Rubenstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Drama therapy offers an authentic medium through which people with aphasia can interact and share their experiences. We describe the rationale and procedures of a drama class, informed by the principles and practices of drama therapy, in which individuals with chronic aphasia conceptualized, wrote, and produced a play addressing their experiences of having, living with, and coping with the effects of aphasia. Sessions were cofacilitated by a speech-language pathologist and a drama therapist. We describe the drama activities and techniques in each of four distinct stages of a drama therapy process through which the group transitioned. We also summarize patient-reported outcomes of a representational group of seven participants. Subscales of the Burden of Stroke Scale and the Communication Confidence Rating Scale for Aphasia were administered before and after participation in the 18-week class. Means, standard deviations, and effect sizes were computed. Results indicated perceived improvements in both communication and mood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-242
Number of pages14
JournalSeminars in Speech and Language
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 11 2011


  • Aphasia
  • drama therapy
  • group therapy
  • patient-reported outcomes
  • rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • LPN and LVN
  • Speech and Hearing


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