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Background: International investigations of public awareness of aphasia indicate low levels of awareness and knowledge. Many studies identify the media as a powerful mechanism for increasing public awareness of health conditions. Media coverage of aphasia is lacking compared to other health conditions. To date, no research has investigated media coverage of aphasia in Ireland. Aims: To investigate the written coverage of aphasia and/or dysphasia in the Irish print media. Methods and Procedures: The Lexis Nexis database was searched between January 2013–2020 inclusive and all articles with the term “aphasia” and/or “dysphasia” in the headline and/or body of the text were retrieved. Retrieved articles were reviewed by both authors. Included articles were categorised independently using content analysis and the descriptors of aphasia in print media. The principles of thematic analysis supported the identification of themes across the data. Outcomes and Results: A total of 34 articles were identified; 16 fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Descriptions of aphasia varied across the data with “word only provided” (n =0); “definition provided” (n =8); “content provided” (n =8). The articles (n =16) featured a range of content about aphasia including: Lived experiences (n =6); Definitions (n =5); Information (n =3); Communication training (n =2). Four themes emerged from the data including (1) Language Impairment, (2) Support Structures, (3) Recovery Pathway, and 4) Impacts on Family. Conclusions: Information about aphasia in Irish print media is sparse. The accuracy and quality of coverage are inconsistent which may be contributing to the limited levels of public awareness and knowledge of aphasia in Ireland. Accurate and increased media coverage has the potential to improve public awareness and knowledge and promote the inclusion of people living with aphasia in Irish society. A co-designed and targeted media aphasia awareness campaign is warranted.
Mc Menamin, R., & O’ Connor, S. (2021). An exploration of the coverage of aphasia in the Irish print media. Aphasiology. https://doi.org/10.1080/02687038.2021.1875733