Dr Emma Finch

Senior Research Fellow-Speech Path.

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

Dr Emma Finch (nee Whiting) is a Conjoint Senior Research Fellow between The University of Queensland and the Princess Alexandra Hospital Speech Pathology Department. Emma 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 in a conjoint research position.

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.

Please note: I hold other grants administered by Queensland Health that are not included in the grants section below or in the grants tab.

Research Interests

  • Effects of thrombolysis and endovascular clot retrieval on communication and swallowing
    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 and/or endovascular clot retrieval shortly after a stroke may minimise neurological damage. Little is known about the effects of these interventions on the recovery of communication, cognitive or swallowing function. Increasing our knowledge in this area will assist in the development of effective patient rehabilitation programs across speech pathology, and will help maximise quality of life post-stroke.
  • Meeting unmet needs following minor stroke
    Our team is conducting a multidisciplinary, multistage project into unmet needs following minor stroke. The initial pilot work by our project team found that patients who experienced a minor stroke can have health, rehabilitation and social needs to are unmet by current services. The second project will explore the unmet needs in greater detail and develop a new approach to meeting these unmet needs, while the third project will focus on exploring unmet communication needs in this patient cohort.
  • 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.

Qualifications

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

Publications

View all Publications

Grants

View all Grants

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • Communication difficulties are a common, but under-researched consequence of brain tumours. There is currently no speech pathology intervention designed specifically to meet the communication needs of patients with brain tumours and their families. This study will develop and trial a novel intervention for communication difficulties associated with brain tumours.

  • Previous pilot work by our project team has found that patients who have experienced a minor stroke can have health, rehabilitation and social needs to are unmet by current services. This project will explore the unmet needs in greater detail and develop a new approach to meeting these unmet needs.

View all Available Projects

Publications

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

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Master Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Master Philosophy — Associate Advisor

Completed Supervision

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.

  • Communication difficulties are a common, but under-researched consequence of brain tumours. There is currently no speech pathology intervention designed specifically to meet the communication needs of patients with brain tumours and their families. This study will develop and trial a novel intervention for communication difficulties associated with brain tumours.

  • Previous pilot work by our project team has found that patients who have experienced a minor stroke can have health, rehabilitation and social needs to are unmet by current services. This project will explore the unmet needs in greater detail and develop a new approach to meeting these unmet needs.