Friday, 12 October 2018

New Paper published by CATCH academics

CATCH members Simon Judge and Chris McDermott have published a paper in the journal of Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology.

Simon, an Honorary Research Fellow with CATCH and Service Lead of the Barnsley Assistive Technology team, and Chris, Professor of Translational Neurology and Honorary Consultant Neurologist, together with colleague Steven Bloch from University College London, collaborated on Communication change in ALS: engaging people living with ALS and their partners in future research.

The objective of the research was to involve people living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (plwALS) in the scoping and identification of research priorities related to the changes in ALS communication including the use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).

Two focus groups of plwALS at early and late stages of change to speech intelligibility were carried out as a patient and participant involvement exercise. The transcriptions of these groups were analyzed thematically and compared between groups.

Aspects of anticipation, preparation, adaptation and partnership were identified as key to dealing with communication change as a result of ALS. In particular, the involvement of partners was clearly significant, as was the impact on them as well as the plwALS. PlwALS successfully contributed to focus groups and the process of group discussion about communication itself appeared constructive.

The paper concludes that research and new interventions should focus further on how to support the partners of plwALS. Future research with plwALS should place AAC strategies and technology in the context of wider communication and investigate how best to support the anticipation, preparation and adaptation to communication change. Specific areas of research need relating to this support are suggested.

The full paper can be downloaded here.

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