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Nearly 6 million from Novo Nordisk Foundation to support individuals with aphasia and their families

Over 31,000 people in Denmark have aphasia after stroke. From being able to communicate like everyone else, this acquired language impairment gives far-reaching chronic consequences. The grant will be used to develop and test support for families living with aphasia.

Associate Professor Jytte Kjærgaard Isaksen from the Department of Language, Culture, History, and Communication, Professor Charlotte Overgaard from the Department of Public Health, Neuropsychologist at Hammel Neurocenter and head of psychological research and development, PhD Lars Evald, have received a grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

The grant will be used to develop an interdisciplinary intervention package to assist individuals with aphasia and their families, in achieving the best possible family life even after stroke and aphasia.

Aphasia is a language impairment experienced by many individuals with acquired brain injury including stroke. Individuals with aphasia struggle to communicate, maintain relationships, retain employment, and participate in daily activities, often resulting in depression. Aphasia also affects the family and friends of individuals with aphasia who experience challenges in their relationships due to the lack of communication.

To prevent some of the many negative consequences, rehabilitation after stroke and aphasia should include both the affected individual and their relatives throughout the entire process of recovery, from hospitalization to return to home. Currently, this is not the case in Denmark where most aphasia interventions target the person with aphasia only.

The project aim is to develop and test a comprehensive family intervention that can be implemented within the Danish healthcare system from the early phases, right when aphasia has impacted family life, and towards achieving a good family life despite the presence of aphasia.

The intervention will consist of various elements, including information provision, communication partner training, and family therapy. The family intervention can be tailored according to the severity of aphasia and the family structure of the affected individual.

Additionally, the family intervention can be delivered in phased stages in line with the specific challenges experienced by the families.

Meet the researcher

Associate Professor Jytte Kjærgaard Isaksen is a researcher at The Department of Language, Culture, History and Communication.


Meet the researcher

Professor Charlotte Overgaard is a researcher at Department of Public Health


Editing was completed: 16.06.2023