Fellow: Ms Madeleine Harrison
Description of research
Stroke is the most frequent cause of aphasia, a condition which affects someone’s ability to produce or comprehend language. About a third of patients have aphasia immediately after stroke, and for a fifth of all stroke survivors, aphasia persists for many years as a chronic consequence of their brain injury.
The aim of the research is to systematically assess what keeps stroke survivors using computerised speech and language therapy at home. In the past, it has been difficult to know how well this therapy has worked, because it was unclear to what degree participants stuck with their therapy.
The current research forms part of a wider research question: is computerised speech and language therapy at home a more effective treatment than having usual care (standard speech and language therapy provision or general daily communication activity), or attention control (daily completion of puzzle book activities), to treat people with persistent aphasia.
This research builds on the evidence of an earlier study called CACTUS (Cost effectiveness of Aphasia Computer Therapy compared with Usual Stimulation or attention control), and forms part of a larger multicenter, randomised controlled trial (RCT) called Big CACTUS.
The research will use structured interviews to understand how well the current treatment is being used overall, then specifically how well participants manage to stick to their treatment.
The results of the research will help shape guidelines on how doctors and therapists should administer computerised speech and language therapy at home, and will also further improve the methods used in the Big CACTUS study.