The present study aims to explore the application of behaviour analysis to stroke rehabilitation, with specific regard to regaining lost verbal skills. Stroke affects approximately 100,000 people in the UK each year, with there being an estimated 1.2 million stroke survivors in the country at present, and 80 million globally. Behavioural research into brain injury, and specifically stroke, is a fairly new and emerging field. Initial enquiry shows some promising findings, however at present much of the research does not meet research rigour standards, and further exploration and experimentation are necessary to develop the evidence-base for behavioural interventions for this population.
The seminal and empirically robust work of Taub and colleagues into Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT) highlights both the relevance and the validity of a behavioural approach to physical stroke rehabilitation, as well as the ability for these strategies to be adopted into mainstream practice and guidelines. This study intends to synthesise and extend existing research on behavioural interventions targeting motor and verbal skills for post-stroke patients, including patients diagnosed with post-stroke aphasia. This research will be informed by recent developments in medical science aiming to increase brain plasticity which, in combination with behavioural interventions, have shown the most promising results.