Dr Rebecca Palmer [PhD, BA]

NIHR-HEFCE Senior Academic Clinical Lecturer

Rebecca Palmer

Health Services Research,
School of Health and Related Research
The University of Sheffield
Innovation Centre
217 Portobello, Room 1.07
S1 4DP

Tel: +44 (0) 114 222 0863 
email : r.l.palmer@sheffield.ac.uk


I am a speech and language therapist specialising in adult neurological conditions. I have 15 years of experience working in the field of stroke rehabilitation, working both in research and clinically in stroke care. I gained a PhD in the treatment of dysarthria using speech recognition technology from the University of Sheffield in 2005.

As part of my HEFCE-NIHR Senior Academic Clinical Lectureship I work both clinically and academically. I am chief investigator of the Big CACTUS trial investigating the clinical and cost effectiveness of aphasia computer treatment versus usual stimulation or attention control long term post stroke. I also implement models of computerised speech and language therapy tested in research, in clinical practice.

Research Interests

My research interests include dysarthria and aphasia assessment and treatment, the use of technology for self managed rehabilitation in the long term post stroke, and the process of informed consent with people with language disorders. Enabling people with communication difficulties to be involved in research in an advisory capacity is also of particular interest (PCPI).

Teaching Interests

I teach on the Community Attachment Scheme for first year medical students and maintain an interest in the clinical teaching of speech and language therapists. In addition I offer training on working with people with communication disorders to a wide range of health professionals.

Professional activities

Member of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists
Health Professions Council Registered
Member of the UK Stroke Forum scientific committee
Member of Stroke Association research funding committee 
Member of Collaboration of Aphasia Trialists (CATs) funded by European Cooperation in Science and Technology

Current projects

  • HEFCE-NIHR Senior Academic Clinical Lectureship, 2012-2017 [£250,000] 
  • Chief investigator - Big CACTUS trial, 2013-2018 [NIHR HTA grant £1.5 million]  
  • Collaborator - Why do stroke patients not receive the recommended amount of therapy? 2014-2017 [NIHR RfPB grant £347,089] (CI David Clarke, Leeds)

Key publications

  1. Latimer, N. R., Dixon, S., & Palmer, R. (2013). Cost-utility of self-managed computer therapy for people with aphasia. Int J Technol Assess Health Care, 29(4), 402-409.
  2. Palmer, R., Enderby, P., & Paterson, G. (2013). Using computers to enable self-management of aphasia therapy exercises for word finding: The patient and carer perspective. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 48(5), 508-521.
  3. Jayes, M., & Palmer, R. (2013). Initial evaluation of the Consent Support Tool: A structured procedure to facilitate the inclusion and engagement of people with aphasia in the informed consent process. Int J Speech Lang Pathol, 16(2),159-68.
  4. Palmer, R., & Paterson, G. (2013). To what extent can people with communication difficulties contribute to health research?. Nurse Researcher, 20(3), 12-16.
  5. Palmer, R., Enderby, P., Cooper, C., Latimer, N., Julious, S., Paterson, G., . . . Hughes, H. (2012). Computer therapy compared with usual care for people with long-standing aphasia poststroke: a pilot randomized controlled trial. Stroke, 43(7), 1904-1911.
  6. Palmer, R., Enderby, P., & Hawley, M. (2010). A voice input voice output communication aid: what do users and therapists require?. Journal of Assistive Technology, 2(4), 4-14.