Community-Based Arts Program for Persons with Aphasia: Clinician-Observed Engagement Levels and Participant-Reported Satisfaction Ratings
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Community arts programs serve as an emergent form of support for persons with aphasia (PWA). As the need for these programs becomes more apparent, research that investigates program effectiveness is essential. Of the 33 persons with varying aphasia types and severity levels who participated in this retrospective pilot study, clinician-observed engagement levels and participant-reported satisfaction ratings were examined within those who completed both the choir and art sections (n = 21) and between the independent samples of the choir (n = 30) and art (n = 24) sections. Additionally, this study examined a possible association between clinician-observed engagement levels and participant-reported program satisfaction ratings within a choir section and an art section of a 2-week summer community arts program. Quantitative data analysis for participants who completed both the choir section and the art section (n = 21) revealed a statistically significant (p < .01) higher level of engagement in the art section compared to the choir section, indicating that the art section was possibly more engaging for PWA. Additionally, analysis of engagement levels and satisfaction ratings for participants who completed the choir section (n = 30) revealed a statistically significant association (p < .05), which indicated that participants’ level of engagement in a choir section may affect their perceived satisfaction with that section. This community arts program also resulted in high overall engagement levels and satisfaction ratings for both choir and art sections. Results of this study suggest that a community arts program comprised of a choir section and an art section was valuable and personally satisfying for PWA, particularly for individuals who sustained high levels of engagement throughout the program activities.