Dr Emma Finch

Research Fellow in Speech Pathology

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences
e.finch@uq.edu.au
+61 7 334 67484
+61 7 3896 3133

Overview

Emma Finch (nee Whiting) graduated with a Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Hons Class I) from the University of Queensland in 2003 and was also awarded a University Medal at this time. Emma subsequently completed a PhD at the University of Queensland in 2008 and was awarded a Dean’s commendation for her doctoral thesis. Following the completion of her PhD, Emma entered fulltime clinical work as a speech pathologist, with a focus on neurosciences and rehabilitation. Since August 2010, Emma has been employed as a conjoint research fellow between the University of Queensland and the Princess Alexandra Hospital Speech Pathology Department.

Emma’s research themes have a strong clinical basis and are focused on the assessment and rehabilitation of communication disorders associated with acquired neurological conditions, such as stroke, traumatic brain injury and brain tumours. Emma is also interested in approaches to enhance the participation of individuals with acquired communication difficulties, such as communication partner training.

Research Interests

  • Effects of thrombolysis on rehabilitation
    Stroke is a leading source of disability in Australia. Some strokes are caused by a blockage in a blood vessel within the brain. Evidence suggests that thrombolysis (administering a drug to dissolve the blockage) shortly after a stroke may minimise neurological damage. One drug is recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA). Little is known about the effects of rt-PA on the recovery of communication, cognitive or physical function. Increasing our knowledge in this area will assist in the development of effective patient rehabilitation programs across speech pathology, occupational therapy and physiotherapy, and will help maximise quality of life post-stroke.
  • Communication partner training
    The communication difficulties associated with aphasia can create a significant barrier to the involvement of people with stroke in healthcare decisions. Communication partner training is one method to minimise this barrier. Our research team is currently investigating the effects of communication partner training with health professionals and health professional students. The effectiveness of delivering the training over the internet to cater for rural clinicians is also being investigated.
  • Communication activity and traumatic brain injury
    The communication and cognitive difficulties associated with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) can have a substantial impact upon participation in social and work activities. To date, there has been minimal research into the communication activities of individuals who have experienced a TBI. This multistage research project will firstly investigate the communication activities of individuals who have experienced a TBI and then secondly interventions to enhance the communication participation of individuals who have experienced a TBI.
  • Computer-based therapy for aphasia
    Previous research into computer-based therapy has tended to focus on individuals with chronic aphasia. As a result, little is known about the impact of computer-based aphasia therapy in sub-acute rehabilitation settings. Our research aims to investigate the effects of providing computer-based therapy for aphasia as an adjunct to standard speech pathology treatment approaches for individuals with aphasia in the inpatient rehabilitation ward and hospital outpatient settings.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Speech Pathology with Class 1 Honours, The University of Queensland

Publications

View all Publications

Supervision

  • Master Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • Little is known about the impact of computer-based aphasia therapy in sub-acute rehabilitation settings. This project will investigate the effects of computer-based therapy as an adjunct to standard speech pathology treatment approaches for individuals with aphasia in the inpatient rehabilitation ward and hospital outpatient settings.

  • The communication difficulties associated with aphasia can create a significant barrier to the involvement of people with stroke in healthcare decisions. This project will investigate the effectiveness of communication partner training with healthcare professional and healthcare professional students.

  • Thrombolysis is used in acute stroke management throughout the world. However, little is known about the effects of thrombolysis on rehabilitation outcomes. This project will investigate the effects of thrombolysis on the recovery of communication, cognitive or physical function, and will link these recovery patterns with imaging data.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Master Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • Little is known about the impact of computer-based aphasia therapy in sub-acute rehabilitation settings. This project will investigate the effects of computer-based therapy as an adjunct to standard speech pathology treatment approaches for individuals with aphasia in the inpatient rehabilitation ward and hospital outpatient settings.

  • The communication difficulties associated with aphasia can create a significant barrier to the involvement of people with stroke in healthcare decisions. This project will investigate the effectiveness of communication partner training with healthcare professional and healthcare professional students.

  • Thrombolysis is used in acute stroke management throughout the world. However, little is known about the effects of thrombolysis on rehabilitation outcomes. This project will investigate the effects of thrombolysis on the recovery of communication, cognitive or physical function, and will link these recovery patterns with imaging data.