Interview With Professor Marta Korytkowska of Sacred Heart University

Marta Korytkowska is a practicing Speech-Language Pathologist in the acute care setting with experience in acute rehabilitation, outpatient, and home care settings. She also has experience teaching several courses including neurogenic disorders, dysphagia, and aging. Her research interests include treatment approaches in bilingual populations with language disorders, bilingual aphasia, and the influence of cognition in recovery from aphasia.

Note: You should consult with your doctor or speech pathologist for recommendations on treatment. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Marta Korytkowska and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeechPathologyMastersPrograms.com

How did you become interested in researching aphasia?

Aphasia has fascinated me since my externship in graduate school at MossRehab. A lot of great work has been done in Aphasia research but there are still so many unanswered questions. People with aphasia have such drastically different outcomes following therapy and I am interested in the reason for these differences.

How has what we know about treating and assessing aphasia improved over the years?

Treating and assessing aphasia has evolved over the years, we now know that it is important to also assess cognition which may tell us how to approach treatment, to find the locus of the errors to pick the correct treatment method. The need for caregiver education and training of communication partners has also evolved.

What are the current challenges to providing those with aphasia the treatment they need?

The time that is allowed for assessment and treatment sessions is one of the greatest barriers.

Some of your research is in Alzheimer’s patients- how can speech-language pathologists (SLPs) help improve quality of life for those with Alzheimer’s?

People with dementia and Alzheimer’s can benefit from SLP services for support, education on changes in cognition and language as well as decreasing the barriers to everyday activities through preservation of abilities and also increasing abilities that may be fading.

What aspect of your work are you most proud of?

The many talks and presentations that I have given that summarize the work that others have done to help educate current and new SLPs, for example the continuing education course on bilingual aphasia.

What is your advice to current SLP students?

Learn as much as you can. It can be so overwhelming with the exams and the papers and the new clients. But use every moment as an opportunity for immersion and picking up something new. I wish I took a little more advantage of this when I was in grad school.

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