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EBP Compendium: Summary of Systematic Review

The Cochrane Collaboration; Health Services Research Unit, Aberdeen University Scotland UK
Pharmacological Treatment for Aphasia Following Stroke

Greener, J., Enderby, P., et al. (2001).
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews(3)

Indicators of Review Quality:

The review addresses a clearly focused question Yes
Criteria for inclusion of studies are provided Yes
Search strategy is described in sufficient detail for replication Yes
Included studies are assessed for study quality Yes
Quality assessments are reproducible Yes

Description: This is a review of randomized controlled trials that investigate the effectiveness of various pharmacological treatments when compared to other drug treatments and to speech-language therapy in individuals with stroke-induced aphasia.

Question(s) Addressed:

This review "assesses whether:

  • pharmacological treatment is more effective than no pharmacological treatment of any type in the treatment of acquired aphasia following stroke.
  • pharmacological treatment is more effective than speech and
    language therapy in the treatment of acquired aphasia following stroke.
  • one particular type of pharmacological substance is more effective than another in the treatment of acquired aphasia following stroke" (p. 3).

Population: Adults who had acquired aphasia due to a stroke.

Intervention/Assessment: This review looks at: 1) pharmacological substance given to a patient with aphasia with the expressed aim of ameliorating language function lost after stroke, 2) speech language therapy, 3) no treatment.

Number of Studies Included: 10

Years Included: 1966 – May 2001



  • Treatment
    • Language
      • General Findings
        • Although the review did not specifically address the effects of speech and language treatments, it did investigate the effects of drug treatment compared to speech and language intervention. The authors "found no basis for advising that any drug is either superior or inferior to speech and language therapy" (p. 8).
        • Further research was recommended.

Keywords: Stroke, Aphasia

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Added to Compendium: March 2012

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