Participants will use a language pedometer to measure the amount of time they speak during the day (talk time) to determine the ‘fitness’ of their verbal communications. UQ School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Speech Pathology PhD student Caitlin Brandenburg said the pedometer was part of a new CommFit app.
“The app pairs with a headset to measure the verbal communication of people with and without language disorders such as aphasia,” Ms Brandenburg said. “The first stage of the project is to test the usability of the app and collect data on how much people talk during the day to test their communicative fitness.
“We would then measure the differences in verbal communications between those with a language disorder and those without, to encourage people with aphasia to become more social and practice their language more. “Ultimately, we would like to see CommFit become part of therapy programs to improve the language and social involvement of people with aphasia.”
Around 80,000 people in Australia live with aphasia, which often occurs after brain injury and affects a person’s ability to talk, understand speech or read and write.
Ms Brandenburg said the study was recruiting Brisbane participants aged between 30 and 65 and with no history of language disorders and Queensland-wide people of any age who have aphasia.
“Participants do not need an iPhone or any experience with this technology to be involved in the program,” she said.
“We will provide all training in the technology and will provide ongoing assistance and support to participants during the study.”
Anyone interested in participating in the free CommFit study should contact Ms Brandenburg on (07) 3365 2870 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.