Around one-third of stroke survivors have aphasia, a language and communication disorder caused by damage to the language centres of the brain. People with aphasia may have difficulty speaking, reading, writing or understanding language.
Aphasia can have a huge impact on a stroke survivor’s day-to-day life, as well as their families. Rates of depression are higher in stroke survivors with aphasia than stroke survivors without. People with aphasia are also at risk of losing contact with friends and their wider social network, and family relationships may be strained.
A self-management programme, specially designed to support stroke survivors with aphasia and their families, could help manage its impact. Self-management programmes provide support for people affected by a condition (e.g. stroke) to adapt to and manage the physical, psychological and social consequences of their condition. Through this programme, stroke survivors and their families would work with a speech and language therapist (SLT) who would help them to develop strategies and confidence to help cope with aphasia in everyday situations.
This research aims to finalise and test a self-management programme that Dr Wray began developing during her PhD. The programme will be developed in partnership with stroke survivors with aphasia, their family members, and SLTs.
It will then be tested in two community services, with 30 stroke survivors with aphasia and their families. The study will investigate whether people like the programme, whether there are any problems with it, and whether the support works.
This research will create a new self-management programme, specifically designed to support people with aphasia and their families. This programme can then go onto be studied in larger numbers of people to see whether it works. A programme like this could help stroke survivors with aphasia and their families to adjust to and manage their lives after stroke.