Towards the Consistent Inclusion of People With Aphasia in Stroke Research Irrespective of Discipline

  • Ciara Shiggins
    Corresponding author Dr Ciara Shiggins, Centre of Research Excellence in Aphasia Recovery and Rehabilitation, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Melbourne 3086, Australia.
    Centre of Research Excellence in Aphasia Recovery and Rehabilitation, Australia

    School of Allied Health, Human Services and Sport, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia

    Queensland Aphasia Research Centre, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

    School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

    School of Health Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, Norfolk, UK
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  • Brooke Ryan
    Centre of Research Excellence in Aphasia Recovery and Rehabilitation, Australia

    University of Technology Sydney, Graduate School of Health, Clinical Psychology, Ultimo, NSW 2007, Australia

    Speech Pathology, Curtin School of Allied Health, Curtin University, Perth, Australia
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  • Robyn O'Halloran
    Centre of Research Excellence in Aphasia Recovery and Rehabilitation, Australia

    School of Allied Health, Human Services and Sport, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia
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  • Emma Power
    Centre of Research Excellence in Aphasia Recovery and Rehabilitation, Australia

    University of Technology Sydney, Graduate School of Health, Speech Pathology, Ultimo, NSW 2007, Australia
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  • Julie Bernhardt
    Centre of Research Excellence in Aphasia Recovery and Rehabilitation, Australia

    Director, NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence Stroke Rehabilitation and Brain Recovery & Co-Head of Stroke Theme, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Australia
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  • Richard I. Lindley
    Centre of Research Excellence in Aphasia Recovery and Rehabilitation, Australia

    Westmead Applied Research Centre; Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
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  • Gordon McGurk
    Human Research Ethics Committee, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital

    Human Research Ethics Committee A, University of Queensland

    Human Research Ethics Committee, Townsville Hospital and Health Service

    OmniAdvisory Consulting
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  • Graeme J. Hankey
    Medical School, Faculty of Health & Medical Sciences, The University of Western Australia, Australia
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  • Miranda L. Rose
    Centre of Research Excellence in Aphasia Recovery and Rehabilitation, Australia

    School of Allied Health, Human Services and Sport, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia
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      People with aphasia have been systematically excluded from stroke research or included without the necessary modifications, threatening external study validity. In this paper, we propose that 1) the inclusion of people with aphasia should be considered as standard in stroke research irrespective of discipline and that 2) modifications should be made to stroke research procedures to support people with aphasia to achieve meaningful and valid inclusion. We argue that outright exclusion of this heterogenous population from stroke research based purely on a diagnosis of aphasia is rarely required and present a rationale for deliberate inclusion of people with aphasia in stroke research. The purpose of this paper is fourfold: 1) to highlight the issue and implications of excluding people with aphasia from stroke research; 2) to acknowledge the current barriers to including people with aphasia in stroke research; 3) to provide stroke researchers with methods to enable inclusion, including recommendations, resources, and guidance; and 4) to consider research needed to develop aphasia inclusive practices in stroke research.


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