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A systematic review of Intensive Comprehensive Aphasia Programmes - who takes part, what is measured, what are the outcomes?

Monnelly, K. ORCID: 0000-0002-3112-9830, Marshall, J. ORCID: 0000-0002-6589-221X, Dipper, L. ORCID: 0000-0002-5918-3898 & Cruice, M. ORCID: 0000-0001-7344-2262 (2023). A systematic review of Intensive Comprehensive Aphasia Programmes - who takes part, what is measured, what are the outcomes?. Disability and Rehabilitation, pp. 1-15. doi: 10.1080/09638288.2023.2274877


PURPOSE: This study synthesizes participant and outcome data from peer-reviewed Intensive Comprehensive Aphasia Programme (ICAP) studies.

METHODS: A systematic review was conducted following PRISMA guidelines. Study eligibility criteria were specified in relation to population, intervention, comparison, outcome, and design considerations. Data were extracted according to six research questions. Narrative synthesis was used.

RESULTS: Twenty-one studies were included covering 13 ICAPs (N = 485, aged 18-86 years, between 11 and 335 months post-stroke). Twenty-seven participant selection criteria were identified. Fifty-six outcome measures spanning the WHO-ICF were used, with the majority assessing the body function domain. Only eight studies employed an experimental design with data appropriate for analysis and synthesis. Risk of bias was noted across this sub-group. Participants improved in word-finding, communication, activity/participation, and communication-related quality of life, and maintained their gains; however, except for word finding, evidence of effect came from isolated studies. Factors influencing outcomes were rarely considered. Some drop-outs, missed sessions, and fatigue were noted. Some studies reported IPD alongside group analyses.

CONCLUSIONS: ICAP selection criteria need justification and should contribute to the understanding of candidacy for this treatment model. Rationalisation of ICAP treatment content and outcome measurement is required, spanning all WHO-ICF domains. Employment of the core outcome set for aphasia would enable data synthesis and facilitate comparisons between the ICAP and other therapy models.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.
Publisher Keywords: Systematic review, aphasia, speech and language therapy, intervention, Intensive Comprehensive Aphasia Programme, stroke
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Language & Communication Science
SWORD Depositor:
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