Return to work for people with aphasia: Experiences and outcomes at six months after stroke

2023 RBWH Foundation Grant Round 1
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Project description

After experiencing a stroke, people may have difficulties with speech and other forms of communication, such as writing. This is a condition called aphasia, a communication impairment. Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital (RBWH) Speech Pathologist Penni Burfein and her team aim to investigate the return-to-work (RTW) experience of individuals with post-stroke aphasia.

Why this work is needed

After a stroke, many people desire to return to work, but those experiencing aphasia are 50% less likely to do so. Understanding their lived experience, unmet needs, and the factors influencing RTW is crucial. This research, conducted across the Surgical, Treatment and Rehabilitation Service (STARS) and RBWH, will involve individuals with post-stroke aphasia. They will complete surveys and language and cognitive assessments at 6, 12 and 24-months post stroke and an in-depth interview at 12 months to further explain factors influencing their communications outcomes.

Expected outcomes

The team expects to provide a comprehensive understanding of the RTW experience for individuals with post-stroke aphasia. The gathered knowledge and data will inform evidence-based interventions and service delivery models personalised to the unique challenges faced by this group. The ultimate goal is to improve RTW rates and enhance the overall quality of life for individuals with post-stroke aphasia by addressing the specific barriers and needs identified in the study.

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Meet the Researcher

Penni Burfein

STARS Speech Pathologist

View Researcher Bio