A phase 1 proof of concept study of the Austin ICAP (Intensive Comprehensive Aphasia Program) for chronic post-stroke aphasia

Ms Lauren Kovesy1, Ms Miranda  Rose2, Ms Gillian Steele2, Ms Michelle  Attard2

1Health Independence Program, Austin Health, Melbourne, Australia, 2Aphasia Lab, School of Allied Health, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia


A modified ICAP was piloted to investigate its impact on aphasia severity, functional communication, mood, and quality of life for people with chronic aphasia, and perceived level of burden and general health of their significant others.


Ten people with chronic aphasia were recruited to a 12-week (twice a week for 4.5 hours per day) multi-modal group program comprising of conversation, technology, music, art, and aphasia advocacy.  Significant others participated in a carers’ support group (four 1-hour sessions).

A Phase 1 pilot, observational pre-post design was utilised. Quantitative measures included: Goal Attainment Scale, Western Aphasia Battery-Revised, Assessment of Living with Aphasia, Stroke and Aphasia Quality of Life Scale-39, Stroke Aphasia Depression Questionnaire-10, General Health Questionnaire, and Bakas Caregiver Outcomes Scale.


There was a significant difference in post ICAP scores for the WAB-AQ and ALA. 89% of GAS goals were fully or partially achieved.  No other statistically significant differences were evident.

Significance of the findings to allied health:

This modified ICAP resulted in positive changes in aphasia severity and perceived impact of aphasia, with most participants achieving their target goals. Changes in mood, quality of life, carer burden and general health will be discussed. This study has supported further evolution of an ongoing intensive aphasia program at Austin Health.