Dr Rebecca Palmer [PhD, BA]
Reader in Communication and Stroke Rehabilitation
Rehabilitation & Assistive Technology Group
The University of Sheffield
30 Regent Street
Tel: +44 (0) 114 222 0863
I am a speech and language therapist specialising in stroke. I have 16 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. From 2005 to 2010 I worked as a specialist SLT on the stroke unit at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals. I co-ordinated the rehabilitation and community trials for the Trent NIHR Stroke Research Network from 2007 to 2013, gaining experience in clinical trial delivery.
As part of my HEFCE-NIHR Senior Academic Clinical Lectureship my focus is on applied clinical research. 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. This study is a multicentre randomised controlled trial taking place in 21 NHS trusts across the UK. I also investigate ways of implementing computer supported speech and language therapy tested in research, in clinical practice.
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).
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, and offer training on taking consent to health researchers. I currently have 3 PhD students whose research topics include mental capacity assessment, fidelity to rehabilitation interventions in clinical trials, and delivery of constraint induced aphasia therapy by assistants and volunteers.
• Trustee for Research and Development for the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists
• Co-chair of World Federation of Neuro Rehabilitation aphasia special interest group
• 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
• Associate editor for Trials
• Member of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists
• Health Professions Council Registered
• HEFCE-NIHR Senior Academic Clinical Lectureship, 2012-2017 [£250,000]
• Chief investigator - Big CACTUS trial, Cost effectiveness of aphasia computer therapy versus usual stimulation 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)
• Collaborator – STAR Speech Therapy Articulation Rehabilitation, 2015-2017 [NIHR i4i grant £339,534] (CI Stuart Cunningham, Sheffield)
• Collaborator - BEADS – behavioural therapy for depression post stroke, 2014-2016 [NIHR HTA grant, £430,583] (CI Shirley Thomas, Nottingham)
• Collaborator – RELEASE - REhabilitation and recovery of peopLE with Aphasia after StrokE (RELEASE): Utilizing secondary data to enhance speech and language therapy interventions for people with aphasia after stroke, 2016-2018 [NIHR HS&DR £446,158] (CI Marian Brady, Glasgow)
For a full list of Rebecca's publications please see here
- Palmer R, Dimairo M, Cooper C, Enderby P, Brady M, Bowen A, Latimer N, Julious S, Cross E, Alshreef A , Harrison M et al (2019) Self-managed, computerised speech and language therapy for patients with chronic aphasia post-stroke compared with usual care or attention control (Big CACTUS) : a multicentre, single-blinded, randomised controlled trial. The Lancet Neurology, 18(9), 821-833.
- Jayes M, Palmer R, Enderby P & Sutton A (2019) How do health and social care professionals in England and Wales assess mental capacity? A literature review. Disability and Rehabilitation, 1-12.
- Clarke DJ, Burton L-J, Tyson SF, Rodgers H, Drummond A, Palmer R, Hoffman A, Prescott M, Tyrrell P, Brkic L , Grenfell K et al (2018) Why do stroke survivors not receive recommended amounts of active therapy? Findings from the ReAcT study, a mixed-methods case-study evaluation in eight stroke units. Clinical Rehabilitation, 32(8), 1119-1132. View this article in WRRO
- Palmer R, Witts H & Chater T (2018) What speech and language therapy do community dwelling stroke survivors with aphasia receive in the UK?. PLoS ONE, 13(7), e0200096. View this article in WRRO
- Palmer R, Hughes H & Chater T (2017) What do people with aphasia want to be able to say? A content analysis of words identified as personally relevant by people with aphasia. PLoS One, 12(3). View this article in WRRO
- Palmer R, Harrison M, Cross E & Enderby P (2016) Negotiating excess treatment costs in a clinical research trial: the good, the bad and the innovative. Trials, 17(1), 71. View this article in WRRO
- Palmer R, Cooper C, Enderby P, Brady M, Julious S, Bowen A & Latimer N (2015) Clinical and cost effectiveness of computer treatment for aphasia post stroke (Big CACTUS): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials, 16(1), 18. View this article in WRRO
- Whitehurst DGT, Latimer NR, Kagan A, Palmer R, Simmons-Mackie N & Hoch JS (2015) Preference-based health-related quality of life in the context of aphasia: a research synthesis. Aphasiology, 29(7), 763-780.
- Jayes MJ & Palmer RL (2014) Stroke Research Staff's Experiences of Seeking Consent from People with Communication Difficulties: Results of a National Online Survey.. Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation, 21(5), 443-451.
- Jayes M & Palmer R (2014) 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), 159-168.
- 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.
- Palmer R, Enderby P, Cooper C, Latimer N, Julious S, Paterson G, Dimairo M, Dixon S, Mortley J, Hilton R , Delaney A et al (2012) Computer therapy compared with usual care for people with long-standing aphasia poststroke: a pilot randomized controlled trial.. Stroke, 43(7), 1904-1911.