CLINICAL LINGUISTICS & PHONETICS, vol.21, no.1, pp.55-70, 2007 (SSCI)
Recent studies on awareness have drawn attention to the fact that aphasia is a little known disorder to the public, in spite of all the publicity about this frequently occurring neurogenic language disorder. Being a very new concept, studies of awareness are rare in Turkey. This survey study assessed the extent of public awareness of neurological disorders, including aphasia, and information sources to answer questions about such disorders. A survey questionnaire consisting of 22 brief questions divided into three sections of awareness was administered to a convenience sample of 196 adults at a University Hospital in 2004. The results indicated that epilepsy and dementia are "the most well-known", and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is "the least-known" among the surveyed disceases/disorders. Aphasia awareness was also low. The respondents preferred doctors as the most reliable information source. Speech and language therapists were found to be one of the information sources in advocating publicity as well. Most respondents expected to receive information from the doctors; who, in Turkey, are totally occupied with the physical aspects of health care provision. Neurologists, in collaboration with speech and language therapists, should be in a position to develop educational programmes to increase public awareness.