Speech therapy study open to Interlake-Eastern RHA residents
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Speech Therapy Stroke Research Seeks Participants

Study includes 12 free speech therapy sessions

April 8, 2014 – Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority (RHA) is working with SpeechWorks Inc. from Winnipeg, a private speech therapy clinic, and Baycrest Centre, a Toronto research facility, to compare the effectiveness of therapy provided in the office to therapy provided on camera using Manitoba Telehealth, that lets two people in separate locations see and speak to each other in real time via computer or TV screen. The research is funded by the Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. The study is beginning now and will run until March 2015, with the last treatment group starting in January 2015. People who have had a stroke prior to January 2014 may be eligible to participate in the study. 

Participants will be randomly assigned to receive 12 free sessions of speech and language therapy, either face to face or using Telehealth, a total value of $1640. SpeechWorks Inc. staff will support participants during the cutting-edge treatment for communication impairments post stroke to ensure success. Travel to either the nearest Telehealth site or to SpeechWorks Inc. in Winnipeg will be at the participant’s expense. The Telehealth network is a secure system widely used by medical professionals across Manitoba. A listing of Telehealth sites is located here.

Allison Baird, president of SpeechWorks Inc., is one of the Speech-Language Pathologists conducting the study.

“We are excited to work with Interlake-Eastern RHA residents on this study. We believe very strongly that everyone should have access to excellent speech therapy. We know that speech therapy contributes to better outcomes overall, including quality of life and life participation,” Baird said.

To be eligible to participate, individuals must:

  • have had a stroke prior to January 2014
  • have trouble talking, understanding, reading or writing
  • live in Manitoba

Brenda Martinussen, regional manager of allied health with Interlake-Eastern RHA, anticipates the study may greatly extend the RHA’s ability to bring health care closer to home for its residents.

“We are pleased to make this study available to residents in the region,” Martinussen said. “The RHA is committed to connecting people and communities to excellent health services. We anticipate the results of the study will be positive and identify Telehealth as an excellent alternative to face to face therapy sessions that will be of great value to our residents and region.”

If you would like to be considered to participate in this study please contact Allison Baird at 204-231-2165 or by email at speechworks_inc@live.ca.

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