A team of PenCLAHRC researchers have been awarded a project grant from the Stroke Association to support pilot research aimed at improving the wellbeing and quality of life of people who have aphasia.
Aphasia is a speech and language disorder caused by damage to the brain, often as a result of having a stroke. People with aphasia can struggle to speak or to understand spoken language. They may also have difficulties with reading, writing or using numbers. The charity Speakability estimates that there are currently 250,000 people living with aphasia in the UK.
As well as affecting speech and language, people with aphasia report a range of psychological and social problems that affect their wellbeing, including reduced confidence and social isolation. These issues are often inadequately dealt with by healthcare services.
The research team is seeking to tackle these issues by trialling a new group-based singing intervention. People with aphasia involved in an earlier development project repeatedly said that singing with others could help them reconnect with society and in turn improve their wellbeing.
The current absence of evidence from randomised controlled trials means that pilot work is needed before progressing to a full trial. The funding received from the Stroke Association will allow this pilot research to take place and will help in planning for a full trial.
Project lead, Dr Mark Tarrant said:
“We are delighted to have been offered this prestigious award, which allows this unique and important pilot research to be conducted. By addressing key questions about delivery of the singing intervention, including participant recruitment and collection of different outcome measures, we will prepare the necessary groundwork for a future full trial of the intervention.”