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Therapy Indicators for Aphasia (TINA): an ICF-oriented decision-making tool for aphasia therapy

Background and aims

Aphasic from one moment to the next! Aphasia occurs after strokes and other brain injuries. People suffering from aphasia have a limited speech comprehension and anomia, they construct words full of semantic and phonetic mistakes (e.g. „glass instead of class" or „taker instead of paper") as well as agrammatic phrases. They have difficulty getting other people to understand them. The consequences for the persons concerned and their families are tremendous. Therefore, speech therapy is very important. It helps improving the speech and communication performance and provides the family members with much support. Aphasia therapy is individually adjusted by speech therapists. Planning and evaluation of therapy offered by taking person-related factors and the social environment of the persons concerned into consideration is a very challenging task as to the complexity and effects of the dysfunction.


Within the framework of research and development project C5 the „therapy indicators aphasia (TInA)" were developed by Erika Hunziker and Beate Kolonko. The method facilitates therapy decisions, regarding therapy focus and needs, and supports the evaluation and documentation of therapy history. Besides speech and communication competences of the persons concerned, this tool can also cover everyday activities, participation and social contacts. Thus, the individual life situation (e.g. job requirements, personal interests, family) can be included in the therapy planning. This focus follows the bio-psycho-social model of the World Health Organization (WHO). The definition of the areas to be covered by TInA and the formulation of the indicators take place and are closely based on the „International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health" (ICF) by the WHO.


In the last phase of the project C5 (2010-2012) the method was examined empirically. The statistical analysis of a total of 77 filled out indicator lists supplied information on the significance of individual indicators (item difficulty) and correlations between indicators and areas.


They showed that the tool is well suited to draw up an integral profile of persons suffering from aphasia with different degrees of severity and dysfunctions. The feedback on health economics and gained knowledge was mainly rated positive to very positive by the aphasia therapists involved in the survey. Subsequent to the empiric study slight modifications were applied to the method and practical versions were issued. We also developed brief instructions with examples for use and interpretation to optimize the practicability. The method will be published in the fall of this year.

Link to the Instrument.



Project Management

Dr. phil.   Hunziker

Co-Leiterin Bachelorstudiengang Logopädie


Forschung und Entwicklung
Tel: +41 44 317 11 81

zfe[at] zfe