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Development of an evidence-based aphasia therapy implementation tool: an international survey of speech pathologists’ access to and use of aphasia therapy resources

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posted on 2024-05-24, 07:03 authored by JK Dignam, Samuel HarveySamuel Harvey, K Monnelly, L Dipper, E Hoover, M Kirmess, B Mohr, E Visch-Brink, SE Wallace, Miranda RoseMiranda Rose

Background: Speech and language therapy can reduce the level of impairment and disability caused by aphasia (Brady et al., 2016). Selecting a therapy can be challenging for clinicians who may struggle to stay abreast of the best evidence to support therapy selection (Rose et al., 2014). Once a therapy is selected, accessing relevant resources is a significant barrier to implementation (Shrubsole et al., 2019). The Aphasia Therapy Finder (ATF) is proposed to be an online repository of therapy resources designed to aid selection of evidence-based aphasia therapies and to bridge the evidence-practice gap in aphasia rehabilitation. Aims: In this study, we aimed to explore speech pathologists’ selection and use of aphasia therapy approaches, and access to aphasia therapy resources in clinical practice. We further aimed to explore speech pathologists’ perspectives on the proposed ATF. Methods & Procedures: A cross-sectional, mixed-methods, survey design was employed. A 22-item web-based survey was developed and disseminated to speech pathologists via professional networks internationally. Data analyses included descriptive statistics and conventional content analysis. Outcomes & Results: Eligible responses from 176 speech pathologists across 19 countries were included in the analyses (86.3% completion rate). Speech pathologists reported using a range of therapy approaches (n = 43) in aphasia rehabilitation, consistent with previous findings (Rose et al., 2014). Information regarding new therapy approaches was predominantly obtained from academic sources including conferences, research literature, and professional development workshops. Speech pathologists placed high importance on research evidence when selecting therapy approaches. Resource limitations, including time and budget constraints, were identified as key barriers to implementing evidence-based aphasia therapy approaches in clinical practice. There was strong support for development of the ATF; 91.7% of respondents indicated they would use it in clinical practice. Recency of research, equity of access with the inclusion of linguistically and culturally diverse resources, and usability of resources were identified as priorities when developing the ATF. Conclusions: While speech pathologists report using a range of aphasia therapy approaches in clinical practice and consider research evidence when selecting therapy approaches, resource limitations continue to present a barrier to the implementation of evidence-based practice. The development of the ATF may support the translation of research evidence into clinical practice.


This research was conducted by the Collaboration of Aphasia Trialists (CATS) Working Group 4: Effectiveness of aphasia interventions and was supported by a Tavistock Trust for Aphasia Project Grant. Katie Monnelly is funded by a postgraduate fellowship from the Stroke Association (UK) and a PhD studentship from the School of Health and Psychological Sciences at City, University of London. Miranda Rose is funded by the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Aphasia Rehabilitation and Recovery [#1153236].


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© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.