Ellen Hickey

Associate Professor

Hickey, Ellen

Email: ellen.hickey@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-7052
Fax: 902-494-5151
Mailing Address: 
Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building
5850 College Street
2nd Floor, Room 2C01
PO Box 15000
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3H 4R2


Dr. Ellen Hickey (PhD Seattle, Washington) is an associate professor in the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Dalhousie University. Her research and teaching is in the area of neurological communication disorders, with a particular focus on communication activities and participation, quality of life, treatment efficacy and outcomes. Her research and teaching also encompasses issues related to interprofessional health education.

Dr. Hickey’s publications and presentations have focused upon a variety of topics including: quality of life and treatment of persons with aphasia, dementia, traumatic brain injury and motor speech disorders, as well as development of speech-language pathology services in the Global South. She is a speech-language pathologist, certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

Since 2009, Dr. Hickey has been involved in training local staff and families to facilitate communication participation and quality of life for persons with neurological communication disorders in the Global South. She has done work in Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, and Belize. She is particularly concerned with ethical issues in “voluntourism” and with the development of speech-language pathology services in low-resource countries.

Dr. Hickey serves as a reviewer for several peer-reviewed journals, most often the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, the Canadian Journal of Speech-language Pathology and Audiology, Aphasiology, and the Journal of Communication Disorders. She has also served on the board of directors for a few local non-profit organizations, including Rannoch House (group home for persons with acquired brain injuries), the Nova Scotia Aphasia Association, and the Women’s Health Organization International. 


  • BSc, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, SUNY at Geneseo
  • MA, Speech-Language Pathology, University of Pittsburgh
  • PhD, Speech Language Pathology, University of Washington


  • CMSD 6460: Treatment of Neurogenic Language and Cognitive Disorders - Adult
  • CMSD 6450: Speech Disorders - Adults

Research interests

  • Aphasia
  • Dementia
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Treatment efficacy/outcomes
  • Communication activities and participation
  • Quality of Life
  • Global Health

Professional associations/affiliations

  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
  • ASHA, Special Interest Group: Neurogenics and Neurophysiology
  • ASHA, Special Interest Group: Global Issues in Communication Disorders and Sciences
  • Academy of Neurogenic Communication Disorders and Sciences
  • Aphasia Access
  • Nova Scotia Aphasia Association

Selected publications

  • Douglas, N.F., & Hickey, E. (2015). Creating positive environments in skilled nursing facilities to support best practice implementation: An overview and practical suggestions. Seminars in Speech & Language, 36(3): 167-178.
  • Hopper, T., Bourgeois, M., Pimentel, J., Qualls, C., Hickey, E., Frymark, T., & Schooling, T. (2014). An evidence-based systematic review on cognitive interventions for individuals with dementia. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology, 22(1), 126-145.
  • Hickey, E.M., Archibald, C., McKenna, M., & Woods, C. (2012). Ethical concerns in voluntourism in speech-language pathology & audiology. Perspectives in Global Issues in Communication Sciences & Related Disorders, 2(2), 40-48. 
  • Hickey, E.M. (Editor). (2010). Continuing education introduction: Group therapy. Perspectives in Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Communication Disorders, 20(4), 101-102.
  • Hickey, E.M., & Saunders, J.S. (2010). Evaluation of a strength-based rehabilitation program for adolescents with chronic acquired brain injuries. Perspectives in Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Communication Disorders, December.
  • Bourgeois, M. S., & Hickey, E.M. (2009). Dementia: From Diagnosis to Management - A functional approach. Florence, KY: Psychology Press.
  • Bourgeois, M.S., & Hickey, E.M. (2007). Dementia. In D. Beukelman, K. Yorkston, & K. Garrett (Eds.), AAC for Acute and Chronic Medical Conditions (Ch. 8).  Baltimore, MD: Paul Brookes Publishing.
  • Bourgeois, M.S., Hickey, E.M., & Dijkstra, K. (2007). Making Wearable Devices for Memory Aids: An Instructional Manual. In M.S. Bourgeois, External Memory Aids and Other Graphic Cueing Devices, Baltimore, MD: Health Professions Press.
  • Hickey, E.M., & Dharani, F. (2007). Effects of partner training on ‘hint and guess sequences’ with a person with aphasia.  Perspectives on Neurophysiology & Neurogenic Speech & Language Disorders, 17(4), 22.
  • Hickey, E.M., & Rondeau, G. (2005). Social validation in aphasiology: Does judges' knowledge of aphasiology matter? Aphasiology, 19(3/4/5), 389-398.
  • Bourgeois, M.S., Dijkstra, K., & Hickey, E.M. (In press, 2005). Impact of communication interaction on measuring self- and proxy-rated depression in dementia. Journal of Medical Speech-Language Pathology, 13(1), 37-50.
  • Hickey, E.M., Bourgeois, M.S., & Olswang, L.B. (2004). Effects of training volunteers to converse with nursing home residents with aphasia. Aphasiology, 5/6/7, 625-637.
  • Hoerster, L., Hickey, E.M., & Bourgeois, M.S. (2001). Effects of memory aids on conversations between nursing home residents with dementia and nursing assistants. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 11 (3/4), 399-427.
  • Hickey, E.M., & Bourgeois, M.S. (2000). Health-related quality of Life (HR-QOL) in nursing home residents with dementia: Stability and relationships among measures. Aphasiology, 14 (5/6), 669-679.