The Speech Pathology Department has been participating in an NHMRC-funded Australia-wide project, led by Professor Beth Armstrong at Western Australia’s Edith Cowan University, evaluating the efficacy of early intervention in aphasia rehabilitation after stroke.
Work has been undertaken within the Stroke Unit with ten Alfred Health Speech Pathologists participating in the study across acute, subacute and community services.
Known as the VERSE project (Very Early Rehabilitation in SpEech), the study investigates whether intensive, early aphasia therapy results in better communication outcomes for stroke patients and aims to accurately cost intensive aphasia therapy.
Participants with aphasia are recruited within 14 days post stroke and are randomised to one of three groups: usual care; usual care plus additional therapy sessions; or, a standardised aphasia therapy program from independent speech pathologists. Patients are evaluated at 12 and 26 weeks post stroke after five weeks of therapy. The NHMRC has funded the study from 2013 to 2015.