Dr Sarah Wallace

Lecturer in Speech Pathology

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences
s.wallace3@uq.edu.au
+61 7 334 67453

Overview

Sarah conducts research in the field of aphasia rehabilitation.

Sarah is an NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellow, a Lecturer in Speech Pathology, and a Certified Practising Speech Pathologist. She has over 15 years of experience working as a clinician, public servant, and researcher in public health, federal government, and university sectors. Sarah has expertise in the area of outcome measurement, developed throughout her doctoral research project to develop a core outcome set for aphasia treatment research. Sarah’s research has an international focus and she is a founding member of Aphasia United, an international peak body for aphasia organisations. Sarah has expertise in consensus building techniques, stakeholder engagement and the application of the World Health Organisation International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health (ICF) to research.

Research Interests

  • Aphasia Rehabilitation
  • Core Outcome Set development
  • Consensus techniques and stakeholder engagement
  • Communication disability in ageing
  • The patient perspective
  • Outcome measurement

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosphy, The University of Queensland
  • Graduate Certificate in Gerontology, VIC
  • Bachelor of Speech Pathology, The University of Queensland

Publications

View all Publications

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • Background:

    Despite the existence of a strong evidence-base for aphasia rehabilitation, people with post-stroke aphasia experience poor outcomes. Living with aphasia often means living with lifelong disability associated with social isolation, reduced employment, and an increased risk of depression. The translation of existing evidence to practice has the potential to improve outcomes for this population, however in Australia, there is no systematic means of determining whether the care provided by aphasia services is effective or meets consumer expectations. This project will use consensus methods to establish a minimum data set and core outcome measures for Australian aphasia services. The core set will be piloted in a prospective observational study to assess data quality and feasibility. This body of research represents the first steps in a broader plan to use routine data collection and data linkage to identify and address evidence-practice gaps in aphasia services.

    Supervisory Team:

    Dr Sarah Wallace

    A/Prof Erin Godecke

    Prof Dominique Cadilhac

    Prof David Copland

  • Background

    Patient experience and satisfaction with the care they have received is well established as a main criterion of quality in healthcare. Patient experience is linked to clinical effectiveness and clinical safety, including positive associations with self-rated and objectively measured health outcomes and adherence to recommended clinical practice. In the field of stroke and aphasia, patient satisfaction is also considered a key outcome. Stroke is the most common cause of adult disability in the western world. About 1/3 of people with stroke will have aphasia, a devastating communication impairment that affects all aspects of communication, including speaking, understanding what others say, reading and writing. A recent international research project explored the outcomes that are most important in aphasia therapy. Eighty aphasia researchers, 265 aphasia clinicians and 53 managers from 25 countries took part in an e-Delphi consensus exercise: patient-reported satisfaction with aphasia therapy was selected as one of the most important outcomes of treatment and clinical effectiveness research. In a linked international project, people with aphasia and their families identified outcomes relating to the quality of health services as essential in improving their lives with aphasia. This research by Wallace and her colleagues on the outcomes of most importance to people with aphasia, their families and aphasia clinicians and researchers led to the development of a Core Outcome Set (COS) for people with aphasia. A COS is a minimum set of outcomes that should be included in all clinical effectiveness studies. The inclusion of a minimum set of outcomes in effectiveness studies facilitates data aggregation and comparison across studies, allowing results to be used with maximum efficiency in systematic reviews and meta-analyses. The consensus work by Wallace et al. identified that the COS for aphasia should include a measure to assess patient satisfaction with aphasia therapy; yet no measure was identified for this outcome. The need to develop a patient-reported outcome measure of satisfaction with aphasia therapy was raised as a key research priority. This project addresses this need by undertaking the necessary theoretical work and consultation with people with aphasia to devela patient-reported outcome measure of Experience and Satisfaction with Aphasia Therapy (ESAT).

    Aims

    This project aims to better understand what makes therapy satisfying for people with post-stroke aphasia (language disability) and use this information to develop an outcome measure and inform clinical practice. There are three objectives:

    1. Synthesise the existing evidence on people with aphasia’s experience and satisfaction with aphasia therapy

    2. Explore people with aphasia’s views on satisfaction with therapy based on their expectations and experience

    3. Develop a patient-reported outcome measure of Experience and Satisfaction with Aphasia Therapy (ESAT).

    Supervisory team:

    Dr Sarah Wallace

    Professor Katerina Hilari (City, University of London)

    Dr Sarah Northcott (City, Univeristy of London)

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book Chapter

  • Worrall, Linda, Rose, Tanya, Brandenburg, Caitlin, Rohde, Alexia, Berg, Karianne and Wallace, Sarah J. (2016). Aphasia in later life. In A. N. Pachana (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Geropsychology (pp. 1-7) Singapore: Springer Singapore. doi:10.1007/978-981-287-080-3_346-1

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

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.

  • Background:

    Despite the existence of a strong evidence-base for aphasia rehabilitation, people with post-stroke aphasia experience poor outcomes. Living with aphasia often means living with lifelong disability associated with social isolation, reduced employment, and an increased risk of depression. The translation of existing evidence to practice has the potential to improve outcomes for this population, however in Australia, there is no systematic means of determining whether the care provided by aphasia services is effective or meets consumer expectations. This project will use consensus methods to establish a minimum data set and core outcome measures for Australian aphasia services. The core set will be piloted in a prospective observational study to assess data quality and feasibility. This body of research represents the first steps in a broader plan to use routine data collection and data linkage to identify and address evidence-practice gaps in aphasia services.

    Supervisory Team:

    Dr Sarah Wallace

    A/Prof Erin Godecke

    Prof Dominique Cadilhac

    Prof David Copland

  • Background

    Patient experience and satisfaction with the care they have received is well established as a main criterion of quality in healthcare. Patient experience is linked to clinical effectiveness and clinical safety, including positive associations with self-rated and objectively measured health outcomes and adherence to recommended clinical practice. In the field of stroke and aphasia, patient satisfaction is also considered a key outcome. Stroke is the most common cause of adult disability in the western world. About 1/3 of people with stroke will have aphasia, a devastating communication impairment that affects all aspects of communication, including speaking, understanding what others say, reading and writing. A recent international research project explored the outcomes that are most important in aphasia therapy. Eighty aphasia researchers, 265 aphasia clinicians and 53 managers from 25 countries took part in an e-Delphi consensus exercise: patient-reported satisfaction with aphasia therapy was selected as one of the most important outcomes of treatment and clinical effectiveness research. In a linked international project, people with aphasia and their families identified outcomes relating to the quality of health services as essential in improving their lives with aphasia. This research by Wallace and her colleagues on the outcomes of most importance to people with aphasia, their families and aphasia clinicians and researchers led to the development of a Core Outcome Set (COS) for people with aphasia. A COS is a minimum set of outcomes that should be included in all clinical effectiveness studies. The inclusion of a minimum set of outcomes in effectiveness studies facilitates data aggregation and comparison across studies, allowing results to be used with maximum efficiency in systematic reviews and meta-analyses. The consensus work by Wallace et al. identified that the COS for aphasia should include a measure to assess patient satisfaction with aphasia therapy; yet no measure was identified for this outcome. The need to develop a patient-reported outcome measure of satisfaction with aphasia therapy was raised as a key research priority. This project addresses this need by undertaking the necessary theoretical work and consultation with people with aphasia to devela patient-reported outcome measure of Experience and Satisfaction with Aphasia Therapy (ESAT).

    Aims

    This project aims to better understand what makes therapy satisfying for people with post-stroke aphasia (language disability) and use this information to develop an outcome measure and inform clinical practice. There are three objectives:

    1. Synthesise the existing evidence on people with aphasia’s experience and satisfaction with aphasia therapy

    2. Explore people with aphasia’s views on satisfaction with therapy based on their expectations and experience

    3. Develop a patient-reported outcome measure of Experience and Satisfaction with Aphasia Therapy (ESAT).

    Supervisory team:

    Dr Sarah Wallace

    Professor Katerina Hilari (City, University of London)

    Dr Sarah Northcott (City, Univeristy of London)