The Discovery Project

What the project was about

The Discovery project investigated the impact of Connect therapy and support services on people with aphasia and their relatives who come to Connect.

What did the team do?

  • Talked to 38 people with aphasia and their relatives before they came to Connect and again 6 months later.
  • Asked people with aphasia and their relatives about their communication and what life was like since their stroke and aphasia.
  • Used a range of assessments - the CETI (a communication questionnaire) , the EQ5D ( a quality of life questionnaire), the CADI, an assessment of what carers find difficult) and a semi structured interview.
  • Interviewed Connect staff about Connect and the way the organisation worked.
  • Videotaped Connect staff working and asked staff to describe what they were doing.
  • Looked at how much different Connect services cost compared to other services for people with aphasia.

What the project found out

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.

They told the researchers:

  • They felt more confident about communicating.
  • They were using other ways of communicating as well as speaking.
  • They felt they were getting their message across more often than before.

These people showed improvement on the communication assessments as well.

The researchers also found that Connect services are good value for money when compared with similar services elsewhere.

Who worked on the project?

Dr Anna van der Gaag from the University of Strathclyde.
Dr Lesley Smith, from the University of Oxford's Institute of Health Science
Chris Mowles, an independent organisational analyst.
Stephanie Davies and Becky Moss, project workers
An advisory group including 4 people with aphasia

If you want to find out more, here are some published articles about the research

  • van der Gaag, A, Smith, L, Davies, S, Moss, B, Mowles, C. (2005) Connect therapy and support services for people with long term stroke and aphasia and their relatives; a six month follow up study. Clinical Rehabilitation, 19, p372-380
  • van der Gaag, A, Smith, L, Mowles, C, Davis, S., Moss, B. (2005) Therapy that makes the right connections. Therapy Weekly, June 9, 2005
  • van der Gaag, A, Mowles, C. Understanding values in Anderson, C, van der Gaag, A. (2005) Speech and Language Therapy: Issues in Professional Practice London: Whurr publishers