Intensive aphasia therapy a great way forward to treat aphasia
Research has clearly demonstrated that intensive aphasia therapy is the ideal way of treating aphasia. Intensive aphasia therapy can help direct neuroplastic changes, assisting recovery by impacting the ongoing neural circuitry changes of the brain. We know all too well, however, that speech-language pathologist resources are stretched.
Working in an acute-care centre is hectic, and many speech-language pathologists often spend most of their time assisting individuals with swallowing difficulties. In that environment, it is nearly impossible to offer intensive aphasia therapy. While some individuals with aphasia receive treatment in a rehabilitation centre, not every individual is a candidate for in-patient rehabilitation.
Intensive aphasia therapy at the intensity InteRACT offers is simply not available within the public health sector.
Is InteRACT right for your patient?
Our 4.5-week intensive aphasia therapy program has helped a broad range of individuals, including those who have had aphasia for many years and those who also present with apraxia. Since 2002, InteRACT has constantly evolved to keep pace with the latest research, and has served as a model for other programs across North America.
Your insight and referral is crucial to a successful program experience. We work with referring clinicians, particularly after completion of the program, to ensure continued progress.
We encourage you to learn more about our intensive aphasia therapy program and hope that you will consider informing your patients about InteRACT as an option for their treatment.
5 reasons for InteRACT’s proven success:
- Customized therapy plans. Tailoring each participant’s treatment requires a high ratio of clinicians to participants. At InteRACT, speech-language pathologists work with all participants during one-on-one intensive aphasia therapy sessions—but we also draw on speech-language pathology interns, who assist clinicians in developing unique materials and plans to meet each participant’s interests and needs.
- Our vibrant university setting requires that we keep up-to-date with the latest research and treatment trends. Our interns bring knowledge and enthusiasm. We have access to a broad range of expertise.
- A holistic approach. Our inter-professional team works toward the common goal of increased life participation for all of our participants.
- Communication partner involvement. We require that a caregiver, spouse, friend or family member attend along with the participant—it is crucial to continued recovery that partners are trained in supportive communication strategies. In busy acute care settings, the opportunity to train partners may be difficult to find.
- Taking therapy out of the therapy room. We give participants the opportunity to practice communication skills in the real world. It could be a trip to the grocery store, shopping mall or library. Perhaps extra practice making phone calls. Each outing builds confidence and skills.
A word about our fees
Don’t let cost deter you from informing a patient about our program. Many of our participants have received partial or full funding through private medical insurance, grants and crowd funding.
The cost of InteRACT is reflective of the amount of intensive aphasia therapy provided, including 115 hours of speech and language therapy and assessment, as well as physiotherapy, individual recreation therapy, group recreation therapy, partner group sessions and many meals. All travel within the program to outings, lessons and recreation sessions are covered in the program fees as well.
Our program fees are comparable to, and generally less than, other intensive aphasia therapy programs, which may not offer as much therapy.
Evidence and research
Clinical outcomes from more than 30 InteRACT sessions show that participants make measurable gains in a number of areas—including overall communicative effectiveness. They complete the program with improved communication ability relative to their communication challenges and they leave with renewed confidence. We follow up with our participants to obtain feedback and follow their results. Please contact us for more details.
Research has demonstrated the benefits of intensive aphasia therapy programs, including:
- Babbitt, Edna M.; Worrall, Linda; Cherney, Leora R. “Who Benefits from an Intensive Comprehensive Aphasia Program?” Topics in Language Disorders, 36:2 (April/June 2016), 168-184.
- Persad, C., Wozniak, L., & Kostopoulos, E. (2013). “Retrospective Analysis of Outcomes from Two Intensive Comprehensive Aphasia Programs.” Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation, 20(5), 388-397. [PDF - 194kB]
- Rose, M. L., Cherney, L. R., & Worrall, L. E. (2013). “Intensive Comprehensive Aphasia Programs: An International Survey of Practice.” Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation, 20(5), 379-387.