Implementation of Comprehensive High-dose Aphasia Treatment (CHAT)

This Earmarked Scholarship project is aligned with a recently awarded Category 1 research grant. It offers you the opportunity to work with leading researchers and contribute to large projects of national significance.

Supervisor – Professor David

Aphasia is a language and communication disability that occurs in approximately 30% of stroke patients with over 120,000 people currently living with aphasia in Australia. Aphasia is associated with four times the community rate of depression. It negatively impacts quality of life more than cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. There is high quality evidence that aphasia therapy improves communication outcomes and individuals benefit more when aphasia therapy is provided in a higher dose. Yet this evidence has not been translated into practice. Major evidence-practice gaps in aphasia identified by our team include the inadequate amount and intensity of therapy received, the lack of collaborative goal setting, and a lack of conversation partner training.

To address these gaps, we have developed and trialled an effective, comprehensive high-dose aphasia program. Based on our work to date and our identification of translational barriers, the overall aims of this research are to evaluate current usual care speech pathology clinical practices in post-stroke aphasia rehabilitation and to evaluate the implementation of our proven, comprehensive, high dose aphasia treatment in the clinical setting. Our program, called CHAT (Comprehensive High-Dose Aphasia Treatment), incorporates evidence-based and goal-directed treatment of impairment and function. A suite of evidence-based implementation strategies will be used with participating hospitals and health services in metropolitan and regional areas with uptake sustained through clinical support networks.

This translation research will provide evidence required to directly influence policy and improve aphasia management and access, thus addressing key priorities of health professionals and services. It will provide a new model of care for delivering comprehensive and effective aphasia rehabilitation and establish a practical solution to optimise outcomes for patients.

Preferred educational background

Applications will be judged on a competitive basis taking into account the applicant's previous academic record, publication record, honours and awards, and employment history.

A working knowledge of aphasia rehabilitation would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field(s) of speech-language pathology and the potential for scholastic success.

*The successful candidate must commence by Research Quarter 4, 2023. You should apply at least 3 months prior to the research quarter commencement date. International applicants may need to apply much earlier for visa reasons.

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