University of Queensland Aphasia Curriculum Goes Online

The University of Queensland is currently expanding its aphasia treatment program to reach more patients living in rural and regional areas.

One year after its launch at Metro North Health’s Surgical Treatment and Rehabilitation Service in Brisbane, the High-Dose Comprehensive Aphasia Treatment (CHAT) program will be piloted at seven hospitals and health service sites in Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia.

Its online version, TeleCHAT, will also be available as an option for people at home. Delivered via video conferencing software, TeleCHAT is currently being researched for its usability, feasibility and acceptability. UQ shared that based on initial results, the online program has “significantly” increased access to aphasia therapy for people living in rural and regional areas.


According to Professor David Copland, Director of the Queensland Aphasia Research Center at UQ, they are expanding the CHAT program to help provide the best and most appropriate therapy for many patients with aphasia in Australia. Currently, more than 140,000 Australians have aphasia, a language disorder that affects how a person communicates after a stroke or head injury.

“Our clinicians and researchers will evaluate the clinical outcomes and cost-effectiveness of the CHAT program in multiple health settings and compare it to aphasia care currently provided,” added Professor Copland.

The CHAT program is supported by a 1 million Australian dollars ($650,000) grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council. It includes 50 hours of intensive therapy delivered over eight weeks by speech-language pathologists with the support of aphasia researchers.

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