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  1. Sarah Northcott
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Contact Information

Contact

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Myddelton Street Building

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Postal Address

City, University of London
Northampton Square
London
EC1V 0HB
United Kingdom

About

Background

Sarah is a Research Fellow based at the Division of Language and Communication Science. She worked as a Speech and Language Therapist on the Isle of Wight and for Lambeth Primary Care Trust before completing a PhD examining the social impact of stroke and aphasia. Since her PhD she has led two small-scale projects. The first was a proof-of-concept study exploring Solution Focused Brief Therapy with people who have post-stroke aphasia; the second analysed Speech and Language Therapists’ experiences in addressing the psychosocial needs of people who have had a stroke. In 2015 she was awarded a City University 12 month Postdoctoral Fellowship Award. More recently, she has received the Stroke Association Jack and Averil (Mansfield) Bradley Fellowship Award for Stroke Research.

Sarah’s first degree was in Music at Cambridge University, and she went on to study piano accompaniment at the Royal Academy of Music in London. She subsequently retrained to become a Speech and Language Therapist at City University London in 2002. While working at Lambeth Primary Care Trust as a clinician she became increasingly aware of the social and psychological impact of stroke and aphasia. Her research interests lie in exploring ways to support the emotional and social well-being of people post stroke.

Qualifications

PhD ‘Social support after a stroke’, City University London, 2013
MSc in Speech and Language Therapy, City University London, 2004
PGDiploma in Speech and Language Therapy, City University London, 2002
PGDiploma in Piano Accompaniment, Royal Academy of Music, 1999
BA Hons Music, Emmanuel College Cambridge University, 1994

External Profile

Reviewer for Scientific Journals: Aphasiology; BMC Geriatrics; Clinical Rehabilitation; Disability and Rehabilitation; International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders; International Journal of Speech Language Pathology

Advisory committee, Aphasia United

Member of the scientific committee for the British Aphasiology Society Therapy Symposium, 2012; and for International Aphasia Rehabilitation Conference, 2016

Professional Bodies

Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists
Health and Care Professions Council

Research

Research Overview

Sarah’s research focuses on improving psychosocial well-being for people with stroke and aphasia. There are two broad strands to her research.

Firstly, she is interested in research that explores ways to enable people with aphasia to make meaningful and positive change in their lives. She has a particular interest in Solution Focused Brief Therapy, and has recently received the Stroke Association Jack and Averil (Mansfield) Bradley Fellowship Award to enable her to conduct a feasibility study (the SoFIA trial). This study will explore how best to adapt this therapy approach for people with both mild and severe aphasia; the acceptability and perceived benefits; as well as examine the feasibility of carrying out a future large-scale trial into clinical and cost effectiveness.

Secondly, Sarah is interested in exploring the psychosocial impact of stroke, both the ‘lived experience’ of having a stroke using qualitative methodology, and also adapting and developing outcome measures that are accessible to people with aphasia. For example, as part of her PhD, she developed the Stroke Social Network Scale which enables both those with and without aphasia to self-report on their social network, enabling clinicians to identify those at risk of becoming socially isolated.

Research Grants

2016-2019 Northcott S. (PI) Adapting a psychosocial intervention for people with post-stroke aphasia: a feasibility study (SoFIA trial). The Stroke Association Jack and Averil (Mansfield) Bradley Fellowship Award. £174,936

2015-2019 Co-applicant; Hilari, K. (PI) Adjustment post stroke and aphasia: Supporting well-being through Peer Befriending (SUPERB trial). Stroke Association, Priority Programme Award. £490,664

2015 Northcott S. (PI). Exploring service users’ perspectives on a proposed feasibility study investigating Solution Focused Brief Therapy for people with post-stroke aphasia. Research Design Service Enabling Involvement Fund. £350

2015 Northcott S. (PI), Hilari K. (co-PI), and Simpson A. Speech and Language Therapists' delivery of psychosocial therapy and support to people with post-stroke aphasia. Research Sustainability Fund, City University London. £8,060

2013- 2014 Co-recipient; Hilari, K (PI) Can Solution Focused Brief Therapy help with social and emotional well-being after a stroke and aphasia? A feasibility proof-of-concept study. Research Sustainability Fund, City University London. £9,840

Principal Collaborators

Dr Katerina Hilari
Professor Alan Simpson
Dr Shirley Thomas
Professor Jane Marshall
Dr Shashi Hirani
Dr Carole Pound
Dr Chris Flood
Jane Ritchie
Kidge Burns
Becky Moss

Publications

Journal Articles (16)

  1. Northcott, S., Simpson, A., Moss, B., Ahmed, N. and Hilari, K. (2017). Supporting people with aphasia to 'settle into a new way to be': speech and language therapists' views on providing psychosocial support. International journal of language & communication disorders . doi:10.1111/1460-6984.12323.
  2. Northcott, S. and Hilari, K. (2017). “I’ve got somebody there, someone cares”: what support is most valued following a stroke? Disability and Rehabilitation pp. 1–10. doi:10.1080/09638288.2017.1337242.
  3. Hilari, K. and Northcott, S. (2017). “Struggling to stay connected”: comparing the social relationships of healthy older people and people with stroke and aphasia. Aphasiology, 31(6), pp. 674–687. doi:10.1080/02687038.2016.1218436.
  4. Northcott, S., Simpson, A., Moss, B., Ahmed, N. and Hilari, K. (2017). How do speech-and-language therapists address the psychosocial well-being of people with aphasia? Results of a UK online survey. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 52(3), pp. 356–373. doi:10.1111/1460-6984.12278.
  5. Northcott, S., Hirani, S.P. and Hilari, K. (2017). A Typology to Explain Changing Social Networks Post Stroke. The Gerontologist . doi:10.1093/geront/gnx011.
  6. Northcott, S., Moss, B., Harrison, K. and Hilari, K. (2016). A systematic review of the impact of stroke on social support and social networks: Associated factors and patterns of change. Clinical Rehabilitation, 30(8), pp. 811–831. doi:10.1177/0269215515602136.
  7. Northcott, S., Marshall, J. and Hilari, K. (2016). What factors predict who will have a strong social network following a stroke? Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research . doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-L-15-0201.
  8. Northcott, S., Burns, K., Simpson, A. and Hilari, K. (2015). 'Living with Aphasia the Best Way i Can': A Feasibility Study Exploring Solution-Focused Brief Therapy for People with Aphasia. Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica, 67(3), pp. 156–167. doi:10.1159/000439217.
  9. Fotiadou, D., Northcott, S., Chatzidaki, A. and Hilari, K. (2014). Aphasia blog talk: How does stroke and aphasia affect a person's social relationships? Aphasiology . doi:10.1080/02687038.2014.928664.
  10. Winkler, M., Bedford, V., Northcott, S. and Hilari, K. (2014). Aphasia blog talk: How does stroke and aphasia affect the carer and their relationship with the person with aphasia? Aphasiology . doi:10.1080/02687038.2014.928665.
  11. Northcott, S. and Hilari, K. (2013). Stroke Social Network Scale: Development and psychometric evaluation of a new patient-reported measure. Clinical Rehabilitation, 27(9), pp. 823–833. doi:10.1177/0269215513479388.
  12. Caute, A., Northcott, S., Clarkson, L., Pring, T. and Hilari, K. (2012). Does mode of administration affect health-related quality-of-life outcomes after stroke? International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 14(4), pp. 329–337. doi:10.3109/17549507.2012.663789.
  13. Northcott, S. and Hilari, K. (2011). Why do people lose their friends after a stroke? International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 46(5), pp. 524–534. doi:10.1111/j.1460-6984.2011.00079.x.
  14. Hilari, K., Northcott, S., Roy, P., Marshall, J., Wiggins, R.D., Chataway, J. and Ames, D. (2010). Psychological distress after stroke and aphasia: The first six months. Clinical Rehabilitation, 24(2), pp. 181–190. doi:10.1177/0269215509346090.
  15. Hilari, K., Lamping, D.L., Smith, S.C., Northcott, S., Lamb, A. and Marshall, J. (2009). Psychometric properties of the Stroke and Aphasia Quality of Life Scale (SAQOL-39) in a generic stroke population. Clinical Rehabilitation, 23(6), pp. 544–557. doi:10.1177/0269215508101729.
  16. Hilari, K. and Northcott, S. (2006). Social support in people with chronic aphasia. Aphasiology, 20(1), pp. 17–36. doi:10.1080/02687030500279982.

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.