aphasia, apraxia of speech, social validation, speech production, speech-language pathology, mobile technology, goal setting, self-determination


Background: Social validation evaluates the importance and acceptability of treatment goals, procedures, and outcomes. Previous studies for treatments that train speech production in aphasia have applied social validation during the post-treatment period or to treatment protocols that are already fully developed.

Aims: The purposes of this study were to (1) examine the social validity of goals and procedures experienced in speech production treatment for people with aphasia and (2) evaluate the feasibility of procedural choice-making during such tasks.

Method: Seven people with aphasia and eight speech-language pathologists were interviewed about previous treatment that targeted speech production. Participants were also observed and/or provided feedback following a simulated practice experience or description of practice techniques that were part of a treatment approach under development. Detailed field notes were obtained and analyzed.

Results: Qualitative analysis revealed four themes: (1) experience with treatment, (2) experience with practice, (3) therapeutic engagement, and (4) procedural choice-making. The first three themes related to previous experiences with speech production treatment and the fourth pertained to comments and observations regarding the simulated practice experience.

Conclusions: The variety of approaches, strategies, and cueing options that participants reported combined with comments regarding therapeutic engagement and the simulated practice indicated that people with aphasia and speech-language pathologists value control, choice, and flexibility when training speech production. Integrating procedural choice-making with speech production practice is feasible and has the potential to increase motivation and improve implementation.

Original Publication Citation

Harmon, T. G., Hardy, L., Haley, K. L. (2018). Proactive social validation of methods and procedures used for training speech production in aphasia. Aphasiology, 32(8):922-943.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Taylor & Francis




David O. McKay School of Education


Communication Disorders

University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor