The Irish Message Banking Toolkit is designed to provide information and support for people with communication difficulties who are considering engaging in message banking and to guide them through the process. In addition, it is intended as a resource for speech & language therapists (SLTs) and other relevant people who work with them.
Message Banking is usually undertaken by people with a medical condition that affects communication. It involves the person recording words and phrases that can be used later on electronic communication devices. As these messages are recorded in the person’s own voice, they have an important role in:
Message banking is complex and relies on the knowledge and skills of SLTs who work alongside people with communication difficulties. The process requires the SLT (and/or other relevant people) to support the person by:
All of these elements should occur within a therapeutic context that recognises message banking is as much about the process as it is about the product. The process may be daunting and emotional but equally it can be empowering when facilitated appropriately.
People who decide to embark on message banking have usually been diagnosed with a progressive medical condition such as Motor Neurone Disease (MND). Typically, they are engaged with several services, including a range of SLT and/or Assistive Technology (AT) professionals within the community, hospital and specialist settings. Therefore, the need for services to work within a common framework is important. It is our intention that this toolkit will serve as such a framework and so lessen the potential disruption that can be caused by multiple different interpretations and processes related to message banking.
A streamlined process allows service users to experience message banking as a meaningful, empowering and hopeful journey. However, the toolkit is not designed to be ‘one-size-fits-all’, but rather it is intended as:
The intention is not for every person doing message banking to use every toolkit document but rather to provide a range of documents from which the person can pick and choose to support the steps that they wish to complete. For this reason, there is a small amount of repetition of key points across some of the documents. It is hoped the toolkit will enable SLTs in Ireland to consider and integrate message banking as a standard option for people with progressive neurological conditions affecting communication. Therefore, it is intended to provide a means for these individuals to navigate their changing identity as communicators and to exert some control over their future communication options.
The Irish Message Banking Toolkit comprises of a number of documents developed for the person who is considering embarking on the process. They include:
The production of this toolkit represents the work of a message banking project made possible by a grant from Research Motor Neurone (RMN). This project has been carried out in two phases.
A clinical research collaboration between:
This phase involved steps to understand the perspectives of our service users through an initial focus group and a small research study involving group-based delivery of the intervention of message banking. Thematic analysis of the participants’ views on the experience of message banking informed SLT practice.
The group expanded to include:
This phase focused on merging existing message banking resources across services. The end products are the pathway and the information documents in this toolkit. In addition to our own clinical experience, much of the feedback from service users in phase 1 has been used to shape these toolkit handouts. The Irish Message Banking Project has been reported in the following poster/oral presentations with an article in preparation (further information available on request).
Doyle, L. & Jagoe, C. (2014). The Development of Message Banking as a Patient-Driven Clinical Tool. Poster presented at the 25th International Symposium of ALS, 5 - 7 December 2014, Belgium.
Doyle, L. & Jagoe, C. (2016). Message Banking: Impact on Quality of Life of People with ALS/MND. Paper presented at the ALS/MND Allied Professionals Forum, 6th December 2016, Dublin.
Jagoe, C. & Doyle, L. (2016). Experiences of Message Banking: The expectations of people with MND and the impact of engaging in message banking on sense of agency. Paper presented at the conference of the International Association of Logopedics & Phoniatrics, August 2016, Dublin.
Doyle, L. & Jagoe, C. (2017). Patient experiences of Message Banking: Implications for Clinical Practice. Paper presented at the conference of the Irish Association of speech & Language Therapists, April 2017, Dublin.
Doyle, L., Fitzsimons, C. & Jagoe, C. (2019). The Collaborative Development of an Irish Message Banking Pathway. Paper presented at the conference of the Irish Association of speech & Language Therapists, May 2019, Dublin.
Jagoe, C. & Doyle, L. (in preparation). Message banking with people with MND: the impact on quality of life and sense of hope.
This project is supported by funding from the Irish-based organisation, Research Motor Neurone (RMN).
RMN is a charitable organisation based in Trinity College, Dublin. The purpose of the foundation is to support research in MND and is led by consultant neurologist Professor Orla Hardiman. In addition, this project is associated with the Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin.
The authors extend sincere thanks to the participants who engaged at different stages of this project and to the service users and SLTs who have worked with us and provided feedback on the toolkit.
Lesley Doyle: Clinical Specialist Speech and Language Therapist (Neurology) Beaumont Hospital, Dublin 9, Ireland (Clinical Lead on the Irish Message Banking Project)
Ciara Fitzsimons: Senior Speech and Language Therapist Assistive Technology & Specialised Seating Department Central Remedial Clinic, Dublin 3, Ireland
Caroline Jagoe: Asst. Professor in Clinical Speech and Language Studies Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland (Academic Lead on the Irish Message Banking Project)
Rozanne Barrow: Adjunct Asst. Professor in Clinical Speech and Language Studies Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland (Editing and document design)
Lesley Doyle Speech & Language Therapy Department, Beaumont Hospital, PO Box 1297, Beaumont Road, Dublin 9, Ireland firstname.lastname@example.org
Ciara Fitzsimons Assistive Technology & Specialist Seating Team, Central Remedial Clinic, Vernon Avenue, Clontarf, Dublin 3, Ireland email@example.com
Jagoe, C., Doyle, L., Fitzsimons, C. & Barrow, R. (2020). Introduction to the Irish Message Banking Toolkit. Research Motor Neurone, Dublin.
Doyle, L., Fitzsimons, C., Jagoe, C. & Barrow, R. (2020). The Irish Message Banking Toolkit. Research Motor Neurone, Dublin.