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Living with a speech disorder

The Stroke Association has awarded The University of Strathclyde £54,843 to carry out a study that will look into therapy for stroke related speech difficulties.  The study is taking place in collaboration with the Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions Research Unit and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

This study will be testing whether a specially devised group therapy programme will benefit people with dysarthria and their family and friends.

Approximately 20% of stroke survivors develop dysarthria.  It is a disorder of the ‘speech muscles’ affecting the clarity and naturalness of speech.

People with dysarthria often feel isolated and frustrated as they adjust to the changes in their speech. This is also difficult for their family and friends.

The study will involve 16 people and their families taking part in a therapy programme which will include speech practice, information about stroke and speech difficulties, discussion of difficult situations and ways of dealing with these.

Professor Catherine Mackenzie leading the study said, “To date there has been little research into the therapies for this speech disorder. Dysarthia can be a challenging condition to deal with following stroke, The information this study will enable us to gather, should go some way in making progress in the treatment of the condition”.

If this group therapy proves to be successful, then larger trials will be carried out to see if this method could be used in everyday practice.

Maddy Halliday, Director Scotland of The Stroke Association said: “Every year in Scotland about between 12,000 and 15,000 people have a stroke and it is the leading cause of adult disability.  I hope this trial will go some way to improving the debilitating effects of dysarthria.”

For further information please contact Angie Macleod at The Stroke Association Scotland on 0131 555 7244 or or visit our website.

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