Research Themes

Aphasia Assessments

Aphasia assessment can be undertaken using a vast range of published tools. These assessment tools aim to capture a range of different aspects of communication including spoken language, comprehension of spoken language, reading and writing. Assessment tools vary between scientific disciplines and between languages across European countries. This Working Group will facilitate the use of accurate, validated and reliable assessment and outcome measures across aphasia trials. Planned activities include the translations of aphasia assessment tools onto different European languages to enable use across multicentre, international aphasia trials.

Prognosis and Predictors of Recovery

This Working Group aims to plan, conduct and facilitate research into the prognosis and predictors of recovery from aphasia after a stroke. Research carried out in this Working Group is centered around using existing resources such as completed studies to investigate the factors that might help a person with aphasia recover. Plans also include setting up an aphasia registry across participating countries. This group also seeks to help in the training and development of new researchers by facilitating PhDs studentships and training opportunities.

Effectiveness of Interventions

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 Working Group is working to identify the components of effective aphasia rehabilitation programmes.

Societal Impact

Aphasia rehabilitation aims to maximise a person’s functional communication, thereby facilitating their re-integration into their family and community circles. However, there is uncertainty about the degree to which any particular aphasia rehabilitation programme supports reintegration into society. There are few assessment tools or outcome measures that attempt to capture this aspect of impact. Many are language and even regionally specific. Functional communication may vary considerably between individuals, context and language. This Working Group will co-ordinate a consensus activity to establish the optimum approach to capturing these important outcomes of aphasia rehabilitation.

Aphasia Datasets

This newly established Working Group will come into effect on completion of the RELEASE project, granting access to anonymised aphasia datasets for novel exploratory analyses. We aim to facilitate projects using this resource in early 2019.