Background: Speech pathologists work to optimise communication and reduce the emotional and social impact of communication disability in patients with aphasia but need evidence-based interventions to effectively do so.
Objective: This phase 1 study aims to evaluate an Australian speech-pathology-led intervention called the Aphasia Action, Success, and Knowledge (Aphasia ASK) programme for patients with aphasia early post stroke.
Methods: A convergent parallel mixed-methods design was utilised. The intervention included up to six individual face-to-face sessions with seven participants with aphasia and their nominated family member(s). Quantitative outcomes assessing mood, quality of life, and communication confidence were conducted for the participants with aphasia. Follow-up interviews were conducted with both participants with aphasia and family members to determine their perceptions of the programme.
Results: Significant improvements were found in communication confidence and mood after treatment and the gains were maintained at 3-month follow-up. Participants with aphasia and their family members reported a good level of satisfaction with the programme.
Conclusions: Findings suggest the Aphasia ASK programme is a suitable intervention with positive initial outcomes for people with aphasia. A larger scale evaluation with a greater variety of participants is now required. An Australian cluster randomised control trial is planned.