An exploration of the impact of group treatment for aphasia on connected speech

Catherine Mason*, Lyndsey Nickels, Belinda McDonald

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    1 Citation (Scopus)
    246 Downloads (Pure)


    Objective: Group treatment enables people with aphasia to practise communication skills outside the typical clinician-patient dyad. While there is evidence that this treatment format can improve participation in everyday communication, there is little evidence it impacts linguistic abilities. This project aimed to investigate the effects of 'typical' group treatment on the communication skills of people with aphasia with a focus on word retrieval in discourse.Methods: Three people with aphasia took part in a 6-week group therapy programme. Each week focused on a different topic, and three topics also received a home programme targeting word retrieval. The six treated topics were compared with two control topics, with regard to language production in connected speech. Semistructured interviews were collected twice prior to treatment and twice following the treatment and analysed using (a) word counts; (b) the profile of word errors and retrieval in speech; (c) a measure of propositional idea density, and (d) perceptual discourse ratings.Results: Two participants showed no significant improvements; one participant showed significant improvement on discourse ratings.Conclusions: This study provides limited support for group treatment, leading to improved communication as measured by semistructured interviews, even when supplemented with a home programme. We suggest that either group treatment, as implemented here, was not an effective approach for improving communication for our participants and/or that outcome measurement was limited by difficulty assessing changes in connected speech.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)72-85
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright The International Neuropsychological Society 2020 . Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


    • aphasia
    • acquired language disorder
    • group treatment
    • group therapy
    • speech-language pathology
    • speech pathology
    • anomia
    • connected speech

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