Thursday 25 August 2016
Published in the online journal PLOS One, a new study looks at the potential benefits of a virtual reality tool for aphasia called EVA Park.
EVA Park is a virtual world for people with aphasia, designed help them practise their speech and establish social connections. It has been developed by researchers led by Professor Jane Marshall at City University, London and was funded by the Stroke Association.
The study involved twenty stroke patients with aphasia. Ten patients received five weeks of immediate therapy with EVA park. The other ten patients were first placed on a waiting list to receive the therapy, and received it later within 13 weeks of being recruited.
Once therapy was received, both groups of patients made significant gains on a measure of the 'functional' communication that's needed day to day (CADL-2 test). However, the therapy did not find changes for either group on measures of their confidence in communicating (CCRSA test) or their social isolation (Friendship Scale).
EVA Park is an exciting new development that may help people with aphasia, and we look forward to further developments from the research team.
Last year, EVA Park won the Tech4Good People's Award, raising much needed awareness of the challenges people with aphasia face, and how developments in technology may be harnessed to improve stroke recovery now and in the future.