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Optimising initial contact

This section aims to prepare speech pathologists for their initial contact with people with aphasia. Follow the links for best practice statements developed in accordance with the most up-to-date research and expert opinion.

Preface: The initial contact between speech pathologist and patient is a key element in acute stroke management.  In addition to providing a vehicle for developing rapport, understanding and support for patients and their families, the initial clinical contact provides the information required to identify conditions, rule out various hypotheses and refine decision making (Hatala, 1997).  Based on findings of the clinical examination a clinician will often begin to prognosticate, formulate appropriate intervention and management plans and, in liaison with the multidisciplinary team consider appropriate transfer and discharge options (Sackett, 1992).  Optimising the initial contact with people with aphasia and their families is therefore a vital first step in ensuring the most efficient, appropriate intervention across the aphasia pathway of care.   

Information that you will find in this section focuses on: 

  1. Initial assessment - including the identification of post stroke aphasia, determining the presence and severity of aphasia and an individuals ability to communicate their healthcare needs, differential diagnosis,  and ways to optimise the initial contact. 
  2. Initial management - including support, training and education for family members/carers. 



+61 7 3365 2891

Professor Linda Worrall
The University of Queensland
ST LUCIA QLD 4072   



The University of Queensland
La Trobe University
Macquarie University
The University of Newcastle
The University of Sydney
Edith Cowan University