Dr Caroline Baker, a speech pathology researcher and Clinical Practice lead at Monash Health, has received a $50,000 Seed Grant in the 2021 Stroke Foundation Research Grants. The grant will support a trial of telerehabilitation to improve the mental health and wellbeing of people with aphasia in regional and rural areas.
Aphasia is a communication impairment acquired post stroke or brain injury, which affects talking, comprehension, reading, and writing. Up to 38% of stroke survivors can have aphasia, and people with aphasia are twice as likely to experience depression and anxiety than those stroke survivors without aphasia.
Dr Baker, along with a research team in speech pathology, psychology, and health service delivery, will carry out the feasibility study titled Aphasia PRevention Intervention and Support in Mental health (PRISM).
“I am thrilled and honoured to be a Stroke Foundation research grant recipient,” said Dr Baker.
“This research will extend the existing project at Monash Health to people with aphasia in regional and rural communities via telerehabilitation, where support and services like these may be otherwise inaccessible.”
Regional and rural Australians are 17% more likely to experience a stroke than those living in metropolitan areas and are more likely to suffer worse outcomes from stroke due to limited access to treatment and care. The Aphasia PRISM trial aims to help prevent depression and anxiety for these survivors of stroke, with the end goal to enhance their wellbeing and quality of life.