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School of Health Sciences

MSc Projects with Katerina Hilari

General research interests

My main areas of interest are aphasia and quality of life.  In my previous research I have looked at various aspects of quality of life and social support in chronic aphasia.  I have also developed the Stroke and Aphasia Quality of Life Scale (SAQOL-39).  My current research interests include the following:

  1. Quality of life
    a. the assessment of quality of life in communication disabilities
    b. the cultural adaptation of quality of life measures
    c. the further testing of the SAQOL-39
  2. Aphasia
    a. the assessment of the broader impact of stroke and aphasia
    b. the effectiveness of aphasia therapy on activities, participation and quality of life
    c. the cultural adaptation of outcome measures for people with aphasia
    d. the further testing of the SAQOL-39
    e. the evaluation of health services, in particular for people with aphasia

Suggested MSc projects

  • The effect of mode of administration on the quality of life outcomes obtained with the SAQOL-39. 

Previous research studies have shown the SAQOL-39 to be a reliable and valid measure when conducted as a face-to-face interview (Hilari et al., 2003). Information on the performance of the SAQOL-39 under different modes of administration can inform clinicians and researchers on the best mode to use in different circumstances and with different client groups.  If telephone interviews and/or postal surveys are found to be effective ways of administering the SAQOL-39, it will increase its affordability as an outcome measure for healthcare providers.  This study will examine whether the SAQOL-39 continues to be a robust and reliable measure when implemented as a telephone interview and postal survey.  Ideally, the study population will be people with stroke (with and without aphasia). This study will follow an established research protocol and supplement the data of a previous project on this topic.

  • The impact of caring for stroke

Two systematic reviews on the impact of stroke on informal carers have demonstrated that they show elevated levels of depression (Han et al., 1999; Low et al., 1999).  Both reviews have identified significant gaps in the literature, including looking at caregivers overall health and quality of life; and employing a longitudinal/ repeated measures design rather than a cross-sectional design.  This study will address both these issues.  Caregivers of people with stroke will be asked to complete a range of overall health, well-being, quality of life and social support measures at different stages after their partners’ stroke.  This project will follow an established research protocol and form part of a larger study, for which some pilot data have already been collected. 

Previous MSc projects

  • Measuring quality of life after stroke with the SAQOL-39: investigating the reliability of telephone interviews and postal surveys.
  • The Reliability of the SAQOL-39 in a generic stroke population
  • Quality of life in aphasia: Greek adaptation of the stroke and aphasia quality of life scale – 39 item (SAQOL –39) (Published in Europa Medicophysica)
  • Agreement of people with aphasia and their proxies on quality of life (Published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry)
  • Social support in chronic aphasia (Published in Aphasiology

Key words

Aphasia, Quality of Life, Outcome measurement, Cultural adaptation of measures