NARNIA Therapy and Communication App

15 February 2022

NARNIA (Novel Approach to Real-life communication: Narrative Intervention in Aphasia) was developed as a novel approach assisting people with aphasia (a communication impairment seen in stroke survivors) to combine the skills needed to talk and interact again in everyday situations.

This project is developing and evaluating a mobile Communication App to deliver the NARNIA therapy (the NARNIApp).

This highly structured language therapy tool focuses on the naturalistic speaking of daily life, the way we tell stories, and is individualised to maximise therapy benefits. MSWA Speech Pathologists have been assisting project lead, Associate Professor Anne Whitworth’s team to develop and test an app that will allow NARNIA therapy sessions to take place remotely and as often as the person needs.

“It is conceptually different to other approaches to aphasia treatment,” says Assoc. Prof. Whitworth, “a characteristic that we believe is critical to its early success with people after stroke, following head injury, and with certain progressive language disorders seen in dementia.”

Currently, the NARNIA team is undertaking the development of the NARNIApp. Once the app is developed, all in consultation with the therapists and the people with aphasia, testing phases will begin between the therapists and the patients. If trials are successful, this will allow more people to be reached through the NARNIA program. This will also allow those in quite remote locations to continue their treatments from their home.

The intended outcome is to produce an iPad-based app for long-term rehabilitation, and evaluate the success of the app in improving functional language and cognitive skills for stroke related aphasia, and potentially other neurological conditions such as dementia.

The NARNIA Communication App is one of the newly funded projects benefitting from our recent record-breaking $10 million research contribution.