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Communicating simply, but not too simply: Reporting of participants and speech and language interventions for aphasia after stroke

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RELEASE Collaboration, & Stahl, B. (2020). Communicating simply, but not too simply: Reporting of participants and speech and language interventions for aphasia after stroke. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 22(3), 302-312. doi:10.1080/17549507.2020.1762000.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0008-8885-8
Purpose: Speech and language pathology (SLP) for aphasia is a complex intervention delivered to a heterogeneous population within diverse settings. Simplistic descriptions of participants and interventions in research hinder replication, interpretation of results, guideline and research developments through secondary data analyses. This study aimed to describe the availability of participant and intervention descriptors in existing aphasia research datasets.Method: We systematically identified aphasia research datasets containing ≥10 participants with information on time since stroke and language ability. We extracted participant and SLP intervention descriptions and considered the availability of data compared to historical and current reporting standards. We developed an extension to the Template for Intervention Description and Replication checklist to support meaningful classification and synthesis of the SLP interventions to support secondary data analysis.Result: Of 11, 314 identified records we screened 1131 full texts and received 75 dataset contributions. We extracted data from 99 additional public domain datasets. Participant age (97.1%) and sex (90.8%) were commonly available. Prior stroke (25.8%), living context (12.1%) and socio-economic status (2.3%) were rarely available. Therapy impairment target, frequency and duration were most commonly available but predominately described at group level. Home practice (46.3%) and tailoring (functional relevance 46.3%) were inconsistently available.Conclusion : Gaps in the availability of participant and intervention details were significant, hampering clinical implementation of evidence into practice and development of our field of research. Improvements in the quality and consistency of participant and intervention data reported in aphasia research are required to maximise clinical implementation, replication in research and the generation of insights from secondary data analysis.