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Research

Research and development work is very important to Connect. It helps ensure that our services, our training and our publications are relevant and effective. Some members of staff at Connect have a background in academic research. They carry out research looking at different aspects of life with aphasia.  Sometimes we work with researchers from different organisations and universities. Our virtual forum (RALAS) is for people interested in research into Life after Stroke. Find out more about RALAS

For your own copy of Connect-associated publications, see the printable list below. For publications developed through our current projects please see the section on Innovation Projects.

Connect associated publications (48 kb)

The Discovery Project

The Discovery project investigated the impact of Connect's support services on people with aphasia and their relatives who come to Connect.The team talked to thirty eight people with aphasia and their relatives before they came to Connect and again six months later. They asked people with aphasia and their relatives about their communication and what life was like since their stroke and aphasia. Most people who took part in the project and used Connect services saw changes in their communication and quality of life. 85% of people with aphasia said their communication had improved since coming to Connect. 93% of relatives/carers said their partner's communication had improved since coming to Connect.

The internet and people with aphasia

This research was about how people with aphasia use the Internet and what barriers they encounter. Can the Internet put people with aphasia in touch with each other and enable them to tell their story? The project found that people with aphasia face many obstacles when they try to use the Internet. The Internet can open up lots of information, but it can also be very undermining. The Internet is a useful means of making contact and telling your story. The Internet can and should be made easier to for people with aphasia to use.

What happens to people with severe aphasia

This research explored the day-to-day life of people living with severe aphasia. The project was about seeing how people with severe aphasia are included or excluded. The project found that many people living with severe aphasia are isolated and left out in day-to-day settings and encounters.People with severe aphasia are often excluded from work, choices and decisions, control, contact, recognition and respect. Participation in life for people with severe aphasia is difficult, but not impossible. Training, education and support for everyone affected (families, friends, staff in social and health services, shops etc.) would help.

The Communication Disability Profile

This project was about developing a new way of investigating the impact of aphasia on someone's life. The project led to the development of a tool (the CDP) that can be used to guide health and social care service providers when offering services to people who have aphasia. See more about the tool that was developed in our publications section.

Health Related Quality of Life for People with Aphasia

This research project contributed to the development of the Stroke and Aphasia Quality of Life Scale- 39 item version (SAQOL-39). This measurement tool gives the opportunity to people with aphasia to express how stroke and aphasia has impacted on their lives. This tool is attracting interest and is being increasingly used in rehabilitation teams and research. It has been adapted for use in, among other countries, Brasil, Canada, Croatia, Cuba, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Turkey.

Having a Say and Making Sense

This research was about the experiences of communicating and making decisions in health care for people with communication disabilities and service providers. What resources might help people with communication disabilities and service providers to communicate more effectively in health care settings?. The first project - Having a Say - explored the perspectives of people with communication difficulties and service providers. It identified problems and also found out what helped. The second project - Making Sense - explored the experiences of a wider group of people with communication difficulties and of carers. A blue-print for a resource to support communication in GPs surgeries that came out of this project is being further developed in our new project Health Talk.

Exploring the connections between thinking and speaking

A lot of people with aphasia find it hard to talk about actions and events. For example, they have trouble with verbs and sentences. For example, they may find it hard to describe what happened at the weekend, or to tell the story of a favourite film. We wanted to find out:What makes this difficult? What processes are involved? Do some people 'think' differently about actions and events? What can help? Some people seem to think about actions differently from others. For example, they may have trouble adopting a viewpoint that 'translates' easily into language. Therapy should take this into account. To help people talk about what's happening, we may need to support their thinking. Therapy materials can help with this. For example, they can simplify some of the choices people have to make.

Describing what happens in therapies

We have been involved in a number of projects all with the aim of describing in more detail what happens in therapies. We have been working on developing ways of describing what therapists and clients do, and how they interact during therapy sessions. The aim of this work is to find a way for therapists to be able to talk together about what they are doing in therapy, to assist better sharing of therapy techniques and rationales. We also hope this will make it easier for therapists to talk with clients and their families about what they are doing in therapy and why.