The North West evaluation of speech and language therapy for people with post-stroke aphasia dysarthria

Internal description

Research Project Agreement [RPA]


Also known as ACT NoW (Assessing Communication Therapy in the North West), this study examined the relative effectiveness of speech and language therapy (SLT) for people with aphasia and/or dysarthria following a stroke, compared with an attention control.

Researchers conducted a multi-centre randomised controlled trial. Patients randomised into the treatment group received up to three weekly SLT sessions for up to 16 weeks, while those in the attention control group received a similar level of contact with a visitor who did not have any specific knowledge of communication therapy.

After adjusting the results for the attention control group having more measured 'disability' at the start of the study, researchers found that there was no evidence that SLT benefited functional communication or quality of life more than the attention control.

We also conducted qualitative research into users' and carers' experience of SLT and attention interventions, and their impact. Both groups enjoyed the experience and felt it made a positive impact on their lives.


Outputs from the study included the Communication Outcomes after Stroke Scale (COAST) to measure patient communication effectiveness from the perspective of patients themselves, as well as their carers (Carer COAST). 

Translated versions of COAST and Carer COAST have also been made available by The University of Manchester Innovation Factory.

Research user group materials

Three patient recruitment booklets were developed during the feasibility stage of the study, with input from a research user group. These materials were tailored to suit the needs of a wide spectrum of communication problems, from severe aphasia to mild dysarthria.

They can all be downloaded from the documents section of this page.

Each booklet had an audio version, and a DVD was also made available to present the information in an alternative format.
Short titleR:KAF MPP GF496EKH
Effective start/end date1/10/0431/10/10

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