Background: While high-quality meta-analyses have confirmed the effectiveness of aphasia therapy after stroke, there is limited evidence for the comparative effectiveness of different aphasia interventions. Two commonly used interventions, Constraint-induced Aphasia Therapy Plus (CIAT Plus) and Multi-modality Aphasia Therapy (M-MAT), are hypothesised to rely on diverse underlying neural mechanisms for recovery and may be differentially responsive to aphasia severity. COMPARE is a prospective randomised open-blinded end-point trial designed to determine whether, in people with chronic post-stroke aphasia living in the community, CIAT Plus and M-MAT provide greater therapeutic benefit compared to usual care, are differentially effective according to aphasia severity, and are cost-effective. This paper details the statistical analysis plan for the COMPARE trial developed prior to data analysis. Methods: Participants (n = 216) are randomised to one of three arms, CIAT Plus, M-MAT or usual care, and undertake therapy with a study trained speech pathologist in groups of three participants stratified by aphasia severity. Therapy occurs for 3 h blocks per day for 10 days across 2 weeks. The primary clinical outcome is aphasia severity as measured by the Western Aphasia Battery-Revised Aphasia Quotient (WAB-R-AQ) immediately post intervention. Secondary outcomes include WAB-R-AQ at 12-week follow-up, and functional communication, discourse efficiency, multimodal communication, and health-related quality of life immediately post intervention and at 12-week follow-up. Results: Linear mixed models (LMMs) will be used to analyse differences between M-MAT and UC, and CIAT-Plus and UC on each outcome measure immediately and at 12 weeks post-intervention. The LMM for WAB-R-AQ will assess the differences in efficacy between M-MAT and CIAT-Plus. All analyses will control for baseline aphasia severity (fixed effect) and for the clustering effect of treatment groups (random effect). Discussion: This trial will provide relative effectiveness data for two common interventions for people with chronic post-stroke aphasia, and highlight possible differential effects based on aphasia severity. Together with the health economic analysis data, the results will enable more informed personalised prescription for aphasia therapy after stroke. Trial registration: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN 12615000618550. Registered on 15 June 2016
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- stroke rehabilitation
- statistical analysis plan
- randomised controlled trial