ARG Meeting 7th August: Speaker Details

Dear All,

Here are the details of the speakers for our next meeting:

Roisin Reade (Anglian Community Enterprise CIC)

I am a Specialist Speech and Language Therapist working within the Early Supported Discharge Team for Stroke in North East Essex. In May 2012 I attended the Connect Conversation Partner Scheme. The scheme involves volunteers visiting a patient with aphasia in the community, with the aim of reducing their social isolation. Prior to entering the patient’s homes volunteers undergo training on communication skills, followed by an interactive session with MM900174010‘trainers’- stroke survivors who have communication difficulties ranging from mild to severe. The trainers provide feedback to volunteers on how to improve their communication abilities. Reflecting the motivation of our trainers we expanded our Conversation Partner Scheme. We are now training healthcare professionals and the public in the Colchester area. To date we have trained over 10

0 people including nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, carers, family members, students and voluntary sector staff.  On the 7th August I will share my experiences of  setting up this training including what we achieved and the barriers we have overcome along the way.”

Fiona Johnson

UCL Dept. of Language & Communication/Guys & St Thomas’s NHS Trust (Community Services)

Changing the Conversation: Looking for mechanisms of change in conversation therapy

Conversation therapy for people with aphasia and their partners seeks to make a difference to everyday interaction by bringing about change to the behaviour that both speakers use when managing the conversational difficulties caused by aphasia. While the evidence base for this approach continues to grow, questions of key clinical relevance remains under explored, such as: How does this treatment work? What aspects of this treatment work?

By drawing on models of behaviour and behaviour change developed in Health Psychology, my research aims to develop a systematic account of why speakers’ use the strategies they do (both helpful and unhelpful), and to provide some preliminary evidence about what areas may be most involved in the creation of long lasting changes to conversational behaviour.

This talk will aim to briefly introduce you to a model of behaviour designed to support intervention planning, as well as to the qualitative methodology I am using to structure this exploratory investigation. Data for the study comes from 16 previous participants in a conversation therapy program – 8 of whom are speakers with aphasia and 8 of whom are their chosen conversation partners. Discussions and

interviews before, during and after therapy make up the data set. Research is currently ongoing, however I hope to bring some of the emerging findings regarding the factors supporting and hindering change in conversation, as well as evidence for mechanisms of change. Comments and feedback will be most welcome!

Dr Celia Woolf

City University

Will be talking about her current research project entitled: Remote Aphasia Therapy: a feasibility study

Sharon will be releasing tickets via Events this Friday, so please do come along (we promise to make sure we have enough water for everyone’s tea and coffee this time!).

In the meantime if anyone else has any small(ish) pieces of information or requests for help with research or anything else connected to research in aphasia that they would like to bring up with members between now and the 7th or at our next meeting please do get in touch.


Otherwise enjoy the sunshine and see you in August!

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