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Economic aspects of a therapy and support service for people with long-term stroke and aphasia

van der Gaag, A. and Brooks, R.G. (2008) Economic aspects of a therapy and support service for people with long-term stroke and aphasia. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 43 (3). pp. 233-244. ISSN 1368-2822

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Abstract

Backgound: This paper considers some economic aspects of a therapy and support service for people with stroke and aphasia. This material was part of a broader evaluation of the service, which is reported elsewhere (van der Gaag et al. 2005, van der Gaag and Mowles 2005). Aims: The purpose of this part of the study was to investigate the feasibility of undertaking economic appraisal in a voluntary sector service providing therapy for people with aphasia and their families. Methods & Procedures: The costs of delivering therapy and support services were calculated. These costs were compared with the costs of equivalent services in the National Health Service (NHS). The EQ-5D health-related quality of life instrument was used to calculate quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). Outcomes & Results: The cost of delivering therapy was lower than expected for a customized service of this nature. The study generated cost data for delivering therapy services, allowing some comparisons to be made with equivalent services in NHS settings. QALY data were generated for a sample of 25 clients on one of the programmes. Conclusions: The economics of speech and language therapy service delivery have received scant attention in the published literature. The paper argues that decision-making about methods of service delivery can be aided by the explicit consideration of the costs and consequences of different programmes.