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Effectiveness Research




Cost effective aphasia treatment and rehabilitation could arise from a greater understanding of the components of effective aphasia rehabilitation. For some individuals the timing of rehabilitation interventions may also be an important factor. Early intervention is thought to offer benefit to stroke related motor deficits yet there is no evidence whether early aphasia interventions offer more benefit than delayed intervention. Through the analyses of combined datasets this WG will identify the components of effective aphasia rehabilitation programmes.

The working group considers the components of effective aphasia rehabilitation in relation to

  • Theoretical approach
  • Functional relevance
  • Repetition and home based therapy tasks
  • Timing of rehabilitation
  • Intensity or frequency of rehabilitation
  • Duration

Is there an interaction between the components of effective aphasia rehabilitation and individual patient characteristics?

Ongoing Research Titles


AsPIRE: Aphasia Intervention description in Research

Lead: Evy Vish-Brink

The aim of this project is to make an inventory of aphasia treatment studies, comparing 2 conditions of SLT. Source for treatment studies: 13 reviews and Pubmed for recent studies. Studies (n= about 125) are evaluated according the  TiDIER-method, described by Hoffman et al. in BMJ 2014, to get insight in the gaps in aphasia treatment research, concerning content and descriptive quality. Finally, we will compare the research data with the methods used in clinical practice. 

Inventory clinical practice aphasia treatment: i-CLIP

Lead: Sue Franklin 

SLT services for stroke vary both regionally and internationally. A team led by Prof Sue Franklin at the University of Limerick has devised a survey of current practice to gather information on the amount and types of treatment available across COST countries that are involved in the Collaboration of Aphasia Trialists. These countries include Australia, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, the united Kingdom, Russia, South Africa and New Zealand. All of the collated information on SLT services will be compared with current evidence based treatment recommendations and published in a peer-reviewed publication and summarised on the CATs website.

RELEASE: REhabilitation and recovery of peopLE with Aphasia after StrokE: Utilizing secondary data to enhance speech and language therapy interventions for people with aphasia after stroke

Lead: Marian Brady



Background: Aphasia, a language problem associated with stroke-related damage to the brain, occurs in approximately 50,600 people in the UK every year.  People with aphasia have difficulty speaking, understanding speech, reading and writing. Speech and language therapy for aphasia after stroke has benefit. However, therapists need better information to inform their choice of the best treatment option for specific patients. Therapy could be even more effective if it could be tailored to individual patients’ needs. Therapists often asked to advise on recovery, have little high quality information to support them in providing such guidance. 

Aim: This study aims to explore the contribution the characteristics of therapy, the individuals themselves, their stroke and aphasia makes to their rehabilitation and prognosis.

Benefits: A recent James Lind Alliance partnership between stroke survivors, carers and healthcare professionals listed aphasia twice in the ‘top 10’ research priorities for life after stroke. A better understanding of what makes aphasia rehabilitation work, would allow treatments to be tailored to specific individuals resulting in more effective and efficient therapy. 

Research Activities: We are gathering pre-existing data from clinical trials and studies of aphasia treatments after stroke. We are pooling these data in a large database and use them to answer new research questions about aphasia. This is a highly efficient method to explore our research questions (the high quality data has already been collected). We are bringing these separate databases together to allow us to generate new information about aphasia after stroke and identify future research questions. This will offer benefit, inform our understanding of what kind of patients we should be approaching to participate in our study, and when. 

Outcomes: We will produce information on:

  1. The components of aphasia therapy that best facilitate recovery (in general and for different types of people, stroke and aphasia)
  2. The optimum therapy (timing, intensity, frequency, duration, repetition) and home practice routine (in general and for different types of people, stroke and aphasia)
  3. The usual patterns of recovery from aphasia (with and without therapy)
  4. What aspects indicate someone will make a good (or not so good) recovery from aphasia

Aphasia Research Priorities

Lead: Sue Franklin

Team: Dearbhla Harhen, Michelle Hayes, Sasha McManus, Alex Pollock



A previous priority setting partnership with the James Lind Alliance identified the top ten research priorities for life after stroke. Aphasia-related issues feaured twice in this top ten list. The current aphasia research priority project expands on this earlier work to examine more closely the research priorities specific to the field of aphasia.

Initiated in October 2014, this project uses the same priority setting methodology outlined by the James Lind Alliance.

These aphasia research priorites have been identified; findings have been disseminated at research conferences, and are currently in preparation for publication. 



Aphasia telerehabilitation early post stroke [PhD Fellowship]

Team: Hege Prag Øra, Frank Becker, Melanie Kirmess, Marian Brady

Funder: Regional Health Trust South East Norway, full time grant for equivalent of 3 years FTE. Start: 1st Aug 2015 End 31st July 2019 (over 4 years)

Transforming access to cost effective aphasia services: the Australian Aphasia Centre for Research Excellence

Team: Linda Worrall, Miranda Rose, Leanne Togher, Tim Shaw, David Copland, Lyndsey Nickels, Erin Godecke, Marian Brady, Julie Bernhardt, Geoffrey Donnan, Dominic Cadillac, Anne Hill, Emma Power, Nina Simmons-Mackie, Deborah Hersh, Robyn O’Halloran

Funder: Australian Government National Health and Medical Research Council. Submission Jan 2016


Please click here to view a list of working group members.

We welcome new members from all countries. If you would like to join this working group, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.