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

Catherine Mason, Lyndsey Nickels, Belinda McDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

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.

LanguageEnglish
Pages72-85
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

Fingerprint

Aphasia
Communication
Therapeutics
Interviews
Aptitude
Self-Help Groups
Linguistics
Group Psychotherapy
Language

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.

Keywords

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

Cite this

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abstract = "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.",
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An exploration of the impact of group treatment for aphasia on connected speech. / Mason, Catherine; Nickels, Lyndsey; McDonald, Belinda.

In: Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, Vol. 26, No. 1, 01.2020, p. 72-85.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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