Welcome to VESFA

Welcome to the VESFA research study at City, University of London.

This study is now finished (December 2022). The results will be posted on this blog when they have been published.

VESFA was a remote treatment study for aphasia. It combines individual word finding therapy with conversation groups in a virtual online environment, EVA Park. 

Difficulty finding words affects almost all people with aphasia, making conversations difficult. Semantic Feature Analysis (SFA) is a treatment known to improve word retrieval for the words practised in therapy.

EVA Park is a virtual island for people with aphasia. Users log in represented by avatars and hear the voices of other users to communicate.  EVA Park allows for remote delivery of therapy (ideal for patients who cannot travel) and may promote generalisation, given the opportunities for communication practice in the virtual environments like restaurants, bars, houses and health centres.

A previous study in EVA Park working on functional conversations, like ordering dinner in a restaurant, demonstrated improvements in functional communication. A single case study of SFA delivered in EVA Park saw changes in naming. This study will deliver SFA with conversation groups with the aim of improving word retrieval in conversations.

The study has ethical approval from the Senate Research Ethics Committee at City, University of London.

The VESFA intervention was developed with an advisory group of people living with aphasia. You can hear about this public involvement process here:

A longer description (2min 40sec) of VESFA with more detail about the context and research question:

If you are interested or have any questions please email: niamh.devane.1@city.ac.uk