Karen Sage worked as an NHS speech and language therapist for 12 years in Burnley, Liverpool and Northumberland, before moving to the University of Manchester. She completed her Psychology PhD part-time at the University of York. After two years as the Director of the Bristol Speech and Language Therapy Research Unit (Southmead hospital), she moved to Sheffield Hallam University to take up a new post promoting and enabling allied health professions research. Her primary research interests are based around adults with acquired communication disorders (including aphasia) and she has experience of experimental, case series, qualitative and large trial study methods.
After completing a BA in languages (French and Spanish), I trained as a speech and language therapist at City University, London, after which I took up my first NHS post in Burnley, Lancashire, followed by specialist neurology work at the Royal Liverpool Hospital before moving to Northumberland where I had a mixed adult caseload, including people with Motor Neurone Disease, Parkinson's disease, stroke, dementia, voice and cancer of the head and neck. In 1996, I moved to the University of Manchester providing teaching and learning on aphasia, language processing, neuropsychology, research methods and clinical practice.
Since completing my PhD in psychology at the University of York, my aim has been to encourage other clinical therapists to undertake research so that allied health professionals can build a ground-swell of qualified, competent clinical researchers who investigate their area of practice to improve the health and wellbeing of their clients. My publications and research funding reflect my aim to recruit and publish with therapists. Clinically applied research (like its partner clinical practice) requires the therapist researcher to understand and use a variety of research methods and I encourage the use of whatever methods fit the research (quantitative as well as qualitative). AHP research also benefits from engaging in big data set studies as well as longitudinal cohort studies.
I am keen to assist therapists in obtaining grant income to provide the space to undertake their research (and if they wish, to acquire a higher degree). To that end, I have been successful in gaining funding from the Stroke Association, the Health Foundation, National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), the Dunhill Medical Trust as well as MRC and ESRC.
Additionally, I work, in Spanish, alongside colleagues in Spain (Malaga, Oviedo, Valencia and Madrid) and Chile (Talca and Santiago de Chile).
Specialist areas of interest
treatment and long term adjustment, stroke, rehabilitation, learning and behaviour change after acquired neurological damage dementia, particularly those affecting language and communication (eg semantic dementia, primary progressive aphasia)
Allied Health Professions
Health And Wellbeing
- Centre for Health and Social Care Research
LAWTON, Michelle, SAGE, Karen, HADDOCK, Gillian, CONROY, Paul and SERRANT, Laura (2108). Speech and language therapists’ perspectives of therapeutic alliance construction and maintenance in aphasia rehabilitation post stroke. International journal of language and communication disorders, 53 (3), 550-563.
THOMSON, J., GEE, Melanie, SAGE, Karen and WALKER, T. (2018). 'What 'form' does informal assessment take? A scoping review of the informal assessment literature for aphasia. International journal of language and communication disorders. (In Press)
BROOMFIELD, Katherine and SAGE, Karen (2017). Exploring the perspectives of people who use Alternative and Augmentative Communication Aids (AAC). In: CUDD, Peter and DE WITTE, Luc, (eds.) Harnessing the power of technology to improve lives. Studies in health technology and informatics (242). IOS Press, 370-373.
KINDELL, J., WILKINSON, R., SAGE, Karen and KEADY, J. (2017). Combining music and life story work to enhance participation in family interaction in semantic dementia: a longitudinal study of one family's experience. Arts and health : an international journal for research, policy and practice, 1-16. (In Press)
KINDELL, J, WILKINSON, R., SAGE, Karen and KEADY, J. (2017). Everyday conversation in dementia: a review of the literature to inform research and practice. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 52 (4), 392-406.
ROBSON, H, SPECHT, K, BEAUMONT, H, PARKES, L.M., SAGE, K, LAMBON RALPH, M.A. and ZAHN, R (2017). Arterial spin labelling shows functional depression of non-lesion tissue in chronic Wernicke’s Aphasia. Cortex, 92, 249-260.
PILKINGTON, Emma, KEIDEL, James, KENDRICK, Luke, SADDY, Doug, SAGE, Karen and ROBSON, Holly (2017). Sources of phoneme errors in repetition: perseverative, neologistic and lesion patterns in jargon aphasia. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 11, p. 225.
WIELAERT, Sandra, AN DE SANDT-KOENDERMAN, Mieke W.M.E., DAMMERS, Nina and SAGE, Karen (2016). ImPACT: a multifaceted implementation for conversation partner training in aphasia in Dutch rehabilitation settings. Disability and Rehabilitation, 40 (1), 76-89.
LAWTON, Michelle, HADDOCK, Gail, CONROY, Paul and SAGE, Karen (2016). Therapeutic alliances in stroke rehabilitation: a meta-ethnography. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 97 (11), 1979-1993.
SAGE, Karen and TERRADILLOS, E. (2016). Terapia functional para la persona con afasia: en que consiste? In: MARTÍN-ARAGONESES, María Teresa and LÓPEZ-HIGES, Ramón, (eds.) Claves de la logopedia en el siglo XXI. Madrid, UNED, 231-249.
WIELAERT, Sandra M., BERNS, Philine, VAN DE SANDT-KOENDERMAN, Mieke W.M., DAMMERS, Nina and SAGE, Karen (2016). Now it is about me having to learn something ... partners' experiences with a Dutch conversation partner training programme (PACT). International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders. (In Press)
THIEL, Lindsey, SAGE, Karen and CONROY, Paul (2016). Promoting linguistic complexity, greater message length and ease of engagement in email writing in people with aphasia: initial evidence from a study utilizing assistive writing software. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders. (In Press)
THIEL, Lindsay, SAGE, Karen and CONROY, Paul (2016). The role of learning in improving functional writing in stroke aphasia. Disability and Rehabilitation. (In Press)
WIELAERT, Sandra M., SAGE, Karen, HEIJENBROK-KAL, Majanka H. and VAN DE SANDT-KOENDERMAN, W.M. (2016). Candidacy for conversation partner training in aphasia: findings from a Dutch implementation study. Aphasiology, 30 (6), 699-718.
KINDELL, J., SAGE, Karen and CRUICE, M. (2015). Supporting communication in semantic dementia : a clinical consensus from expert practitioners. Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, 16 (3), 153-164.
THIEL, L., SAGE, Karen and CONROY, P. (2015). Normative data for email writing by native speakers of British English. Journal of Open Psychology Data, 3 (1).
THIEL, Lindsay, SAGE, Karen and CONROY, Paul (2015). Comparing uni-modal and multi-modal therapies for improving writing in acquired dysgraphia after stroke. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 26 (3), 345-373.
CARRAGHER, M., SAGE, Karen and CONROY, P. (2015). Outcomes of treatment targeting syntax production in people with Broca's-type aphasia : evidence from psycholinguistic assessment tasks and everyday conversation. International journal of language and communication disorders, 50 (3), 322-336.
CARRAGHER, Marcella, SAGE, Karen and CONROY, Paul (2014). Preliminary analysis from a novel treatment targeting the exchange of new information within storytelling for people with non-fluent aphasia and their partners. Aphasiology, 29 (11), 1383-1408.
THIEL, Lindsey, SAGE, Karen and CONROY, Paul (2014). Retraining writing for functional purposes: a review of the writing therapy literature. Aphasiology, 29 (4), 423-441.
ROBSON, Holly, CLOUTMAN, Lauren, KEIDEL, James L., SAGE, Karen, DRAKESMITH, Mark and WELBOURNE, Stephen (2014). Mismatch negativity (MMN) reveals inefficient auditory ventral stream function in chronic auditory comprehension impairments. Cortex, 59, 113-125.
KINDELL, Jacqueline, SAGE, Karen, WILKINSON, Ray and KEADY, John (2014). Living with semantic dementia: a case study of one family's experience. Qualitative Health Research, 24 (3), 401-411.
ROBSON, Holly, ZAHN, Roland, KEIDEL, James L., BINNEY, Richard J., SAGE, Karen and LAMBON RALPH, Mathew A. (2014). The anterior temporal lobes support residual comprehension in Wernicke's aphasia. Brain, 137 (3), 931-943.
GALLING, Mandy A., GOORAH, Neetish, BERTHIER, Marcelo L. and SAGE, Karen (2013). A clinical study of the combined use of bromocriptine and speech and language therapy in the treatment of a person with aphasia. Aphasiology, 28 (2), 171-187.
SAGE, Karen, GALLING, M., GOORAH, N. and BERTHIER, M. (2013). Combining bromocriptine and speech and language therapy in the treatment of a person with aphasia : a clinical study. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 94, 273-274.
CARRAGHER, M., SAGE, Karen and CONROY, P. (2013). Interactive storytelling therapy : task effects and generalisation to conversation. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 94, 269-270.
ROBSON, H., DRAKESMITH, M., KEIDEL, J. L., SAGE, Karen, CLOUTMAN, L. and WELBOURNE, S. (2013). Electrophysiology correlates of successful and impaired auditory discrimination in acquired comprehension impairments. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 94, 145-146.
CARRAGHER, M., SAGE, Karen and CONROY, P. (2013). The effects of verb retrieval therapy for people with non-fluent aphasia : evidence from assessment tasks and conversation. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 23 (6), 846-887.
ROBSON, H., GRUBE, M., GRIFFITHS, T. D., RALPH, M. A. Lambon and SAGE, Karen (2013). Fundamental deficits of auditory perception in Wernicke's aphasia. Cortex, 49 (7), 1808-1822.
KINDELL, J, SAGE, Karen, KEADY, J and WILKINSON, R (2013). Adapting to conversation with semantic dementia : using enactment as a compensatory strategy in everyday social interaction. International journal of language and communication disorders, 48 (5), 497-507.
CUETOS, F., RODRÍGUEZ-FERREIRO, J., SAGE, Karen and ELLIS, A. W. (2012). A fresh look at the predictors of naming accuracy and errors in Alzheimer's disease. Journal of Neuropsychology, 6 (2), 242-256.
CARRAGHER, M., CONROY, P., SAGE, Karen and WILKINSON, R. (2012). Can impairment-focused therapy change the everyday conversations of people with aphasia? A review of the literature and future directions. Aphasiology, 26 (7), 895-916.
ROBSON, H., KEIDEL, J. L., RALPH, M. A. Lambon and SAGE, Karen (2012). Revealing and quantifying the impaired phonological analysis underpinning impaired comprehension in Wernicke's aphasia. Neuropsychologia, 50 (2), 276-288.
CONROY, P., SNELL, C., SAGE, Karen and RALPH, M. A. Lambon (2012). Using phonemic cueing of spontaneous naming to predict item responsiveness to therapy for anomia in aphasia. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 93 (1 S), S53-S60.
WILKINSON, Ray, LOCK, Sarah, BRYAN, Karen and SAGE, Karen (2011). Interaction-focused intervention for acquired language disorders: facilitating mutual adaptation in couples where one partner has aphasia. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 13 (1), 74-87.
WILKINSON, Ray, BRYAN, Karen, LOCK, Sarah and SAGE, Karen (2010). Implementing and evaluating aphasia therapy targeted at couples' conversations: A single case study. Aphasiology, 24 (6-8), 869-886.
Honorary clinical contract with Southmead Hospital, North Bristol NHS Trust
Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) Research advisor and research champion
Co-Chair: RCSLT Clinical Excellence Network (CEN): North West Aphasia
COST EU Collaboration of Aphasia Trialists (CAT) Working group 3 Predictors and prognosis
Council for Allied Health Professions Research (CAHPR) : member of the professoriate
External examiner: City, University of London - External Examiner for MRes Clinical Research and MSc in Health Services Research
2013 - 2018: Stroke Association Junior Fellowship: 'Evaluating the impact of therapeutic alliance between the rehabilitation clinician and stroke survivor; focus on the speech and language therapist and the person with aphasia'
2015 - 2018: Stroke Association Junior Fellowship: 'The Cognitive and Neurobiological Mechanisms Underpinning Jargon Aphasia and Perseveration'
Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development and the Rotterdam Neurorehabilitation Research (RoNeRes) consortium: Exploratory study into the effects of conversation training on all stakeholders when the partners of people with aphasia have received the training
ESRC: Applying therapies and technologies to the treatment of dysgraphia: combining neuropsychological techniques and compensatory devices to enhance use of writing via the internet
NIHR: Extending and evaluating conversation-focused therapy: Optimizing the ability of couples where one partner has aphasia to cope with conversation.
Stroke Association Junior Fellowship: Improving the talk of speakers with non-fluent aphasia: Evaluating the combination of impairment-focused therapy and interaction therapy
Stroke Association Junior Fellowship: Revealing the neural basis of semantic memory: its breakdown in Wernicke’s aphasia
Overseas Research Studentship (ORS) Re-learning in semantic dementia
Gatsby Foundation: Charting the recovery of reading in CVA
MRC: Testing and applying contemporary models of language to relearning in stroke aphasia
Stroke Association Junior Fellowship. Errorless learning as a treatment applied to verb and sentence production in aphasia
Health Foundation studentship: An investigation into errorless learning as a therapy for anomia
ESRC: An investigation into lexical therapy for anomia
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