Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Support materials for people with aphasia

Best Practice Statement

This statement have been developed by the NHMRC CCRE in Aphasia Rehabilitation in accordance with the most up to date research and expert opinion.


People with aphasia should have support material available to enable them to participate in communication.

Reference: Rose et al., 2003
NHMRC level of Evidence: III-2

A preliminary study showed that aphasia friendly material (AF) assists people with aphasia to comprehend written information (Brennan, Worrall, & McKenna, 2005; T. Rose et al., 2003). Recommendations for how to best format printed education material (PEM) for people with aphasia include: short, simple language; content that is relevant and interesting to the reader; san serif font; bolding of important information; well organised information and the use of relevant graphics that contain captions (T. Rose et al., 2003; T. A. Rose, Worrall, Hickson, & Hoffmann, 2012). However, individual variations must always be considered as not everyone prefers AF material (Rose et al., 2003). Particular caution should be taken when using illustrations as some reports suggest that they can be distracting rather than helpful (Brennan et al., 2005).   In addition, AF material needs to be supported by dialogue between the health professional and client, be easily obtainable, repeatedly provided and available in a range of media (T. Rose et al., 2010; Linda Worrall, Rose, Howe, McKenna, & Hickson, 2007).


How can I make written information aphasia-friendly?

  1. Text formatting for aphasia friendly health information  
  2. Written stroke and aphasia information: preferences of people with aphasia


  1. Rose, T., Worrall, L., & McKenna, K. (2003). The effectiveness of aphasia‐friendly principles for printed health education materials for people with aphasia following stroke. Aphasiology, 17(10), 947-963. doi: 10.1080/02687030344000319
  2. Brennan, A., Worrall, L., & McKenna, K. (2005). The relationship between specific features of aphasia-friendly written material and comprehension of written material for people with aphasia: An exploratory study. Aphasiology, 19(8), 693-711. doi: 10.1080/02687030444000958
  3. Rose, T. A., Worrall, L. E., Hickson, L. M., & Hoffmann, T. C. (2012). Guiding principles for printed education materials: design preferences of people with aphasia. International Journal of  Speech-language Pathology, 14(1). doi: 10.3109/17549507.2011.63158.
  4. Rose, T., Worrall, L., Hickson, L., & Hoffmann, T. (2010). Do people with aphasia want written stroke and aphasia information? A verbal survey exploring preferences for when and how to provide stroke and aphasia information. Topics in Stroke Rehabiliation, 17(2). doi: 10.1310/tsr1702-79
  5. Worrall, L., Rose, T., Howe, T., McKenna, K., & Hickson, L. (2007). Developing an evidence‐base for accessibility for people with aphasia. Aphasiology, 21(1), 124-136. doi: 10.1080/02687030600798352


+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