UQ Speech Pathology students seek volunteers to test their communication fitness

University of Queensland researchers are seeking volunteers from across Queensland willing to use a new form of pedometer to measure their verbal communications.

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 Speech Pathology PhD student Caitlin Brandenburg said the pedometer was part of a new “CommFit” app.

UQ Speech Pathology School
Study at the University of Queensland

“The app pairs with a headset to measure the verbal communication of people with and without language disorders such as aphasia,” Ms Brandenburg said, explaining that 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.”

The UQ Speech Pathology student said that they 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.”

Approximately 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.

UQ Speech Pathology

Program: Master of Speech Pathology Studies
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Next Semester intake: July 2014
Duration: 2.5 years
Application deadline: February 28, 2014


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