Every 6 seconds a stroke will result in the reduced quality of life of an individual due to ongoing disability .
Aphasia is a common sequelae of stroke, occurring in up to 38% of stroke survivors  and has significant implications for an individual’s functioning and quality of life . Aphasia is a communication disability caused by damage to the language centres of the brain. Associated with increased mortality, reduced likelihood of returning to employment and reduced rates of functional recovery , aphasia post stroke affects an individual's ability to understand, speak, read and write.
A study by Lam and Wodchis  evaluated the impact of 60 diseases and 15 conditions on health-related quality of life using the minimum data set Health-Status Index. Of these conditions, aphasia was found to have the largest negative relationship to the quality of life index, followed by cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. The significant repercussions aphasia has for an individual’s quality of life indicates the importance of ensuring optimal healthcare provision for this vulnerable population.
Stroke rehabilitation occurring early post-onset has been shown to have benefits over spontaneous recovery . Approximately 70% of potential language recovery occurs in the first three months  and Robey [8,9] found that treated individuals had almost twice the recovery effect size of untreated individuals when therapy was commenced within this first three month period.
Formalising patient care is one way to directly improve the quality of patient management and optimise outcomes . Whilst there have been many systematic reviews of different aspects of aphasia management, there is no defined resource which provides clinicians, people with aphasia and their family and friends with comprehensive recommendations and best available evidence for aphasia rehabilitation across the entire continuum of care.
Speech pathologists have recognised this evidence-practice gap and the need for enhanced access to evidence-based information in order to provide best service. A recent telephone focus group of acute care speech pathologists revealed that a ‘lack of applicable and packaged evidence-based therapy resources’ was seen as a barrier to providing optimal early aphasia treatment . As evidence-based practice become progressively more important for effective health delivery, increased research use within aphasia rehabilitation is paramount.
Alexia Rohde for her contribution to this section through her article "Systematic review of the quality of clinical guidelines for aphasia in stroke management (2013)"
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Professor Linda Worrall