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Development, feasibility, acceptability, and initial efficacy of a novel UK Intensive and Comprehensive Aphasia Programme (ICAP-City


1st supervisor: Dr Madeline Cruice

2nd supervisor: Prof Jane Marshall

3rd supervisor: Dr Madeleine Pritchard

Research Centre

Language and Communication Science

Project Description

Intensive and Comprehensive Aphasia Programmes (ICAPs) are a new service model aiming to maximise outcomes for people with aphasia following stroke. ICAPs draw on international research findings and guidelines: intensive intervention maximises neuroplasticity and learning and, comprehensive intervention focuses on multiple domains of the ICF simultaneously, which is important to people with aphasia. There is no standard format for an ICAP, and international programmes vary broadly in intensity, duration, overall dosage, outcome measurement and programme content. Only one of the 12 ICAPs was based in the UK, and it is unclear whether further ICAPs exist.

Proposed PhD: This project will develop and evaluate a stakeholder-generated ICAP based at City University of London (ICAP-City), for people with chronic (1yr) post-stroke aphasia. Aims are: 1) developing a novel intervention ICAP-City, co-designed by service recipients (people with aphasia and family members) and service providers (LCS staff); 2) examining the feasibility and acceptability of ICAP-City from the perspective of service recipients and providers; 3) investigating initial efficacy of ICAP-City using a waitlist control design with 24 participants.  The candidate will review the relevant literature on ICAPs, and develop a theory of why ICAP-City will be effective. This will feed into a series of co-design workshops with stakeholders determining candidacy, desired outcome(s), programme content, intensity, duration, dosage, and outcome measures. An experimental feasibility study of 24 participants in two groups will be conducted using a waitlist control design. Feasibility will be examined using recruitment and retention rates, completion of all assessments, and treatment sessions. Acceptability will be gauged through 1:1 interviews exploring views of programme, perceived changes, and other aspects. Finally, initial efficacy will be gauged through pre-post comparison of outcome measures. Outcome measures are likely to relate to consider language, activity, social participation, quality of life, and mood), and include internationally recommended measures for aphasia rehabilitation research.

Supervision Team: In addition to the named supervisors, the candidate will be able to work with the expertise of the wider LCS aphasia team. There will be synergies with current and previous projects and therapies (E-SFA, Mapping therapy, LUNA, CommuniCATE, SPLIT, EVA, INCA, and the community group Aphasia ReConnect). International collaborators running research ICAPs in Chicago and Brisbane will also be invited to advise.

Potential for a field of strong candidates: LCS has a strong track record of recruiting excellent PhD candidates.  This proposal may be of interest to recent SLT graduates, to RAs currently working our aphasia research projects and to students who are completing MScs in Speech Language and Communication or Speech and Language Therapy.

If you would like to have an informal discussion please contact M.Cruice@city.ac.uk.