QMYOU Alumni Magazine Issue 78 - Page 8

Stroke survivors benefit from innovative communication therapy Speech experts recently held an intensive therapy programme for people who had developed communication problems following stroke. Q MU, in partnership with local NHS services and stroke survivors, piloted an intensive communication therapy programme for people with aphasia. The innovative project aimed to help people with aphasia gain confidence with their day-to-day communications and ultimately improve their quality of life. About 130,000 people in Britain have a stroke each year and a third of these survivors experience communication difficulties. The communication condition aphasia can have a significant impact on people’s lives and affects survivors in different ways. Aphasia varies in severity and can impact an individual’s 8 understanding of the spoken or written word, and/or their speech or writing. Evidence suggests that intensive therapy can be a very effective approach but no intensive group therapy is currently available in Scotland for people with aphasia. In response, QMU piloted a two-week research programme for people QMYOU / Health & Rehabilitation / Focus on Speech with aphasia and their communication partners (a relative or friend with whom they regularly communicate). The programme, which took place at QMU in June 2013, involved a half-day introduction, five days of therapy over a two week period, and a half-day follow up. Eleven people with aphasia aged between