The impact of group therapy on word retrieval in people with chronic aphasia

Lyndsey Nickels*, Belinda McDonald, Catherine Mason

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    BACKGROUND: Traditional group-based aphasia intervention has been shown to benefit people with aphasia in a variety of ways. However, despite the prevalence of anomia and the impact it has for communication, there has been little investigation as to whether these interventions improve word retrieval. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to determine the effects on word retrieval of a 'traditional' out-patient group intervention. METHODS: A 6-week group therapy programme focused on current-affairs topics with facilitator-led discussion and language tasks. Half the topics received a supplementary, self-directed, anomia home programme. Using a single case experimental design, replicated across three participants, we examined the effectiveness of the group, and the grouphome programme, in facilitating word retrieval in picture naming and connected speech. RESULTS: The participants showed a pattern of improved picture naming over the course of the study for the treated topics which was not evident for the untreated control topics. However, it was difficult to attribute this improvement unequivocally to the treatment. CONCLUSIONS: While participants felt that the group was beneficial, there was little clear evidence for treatment-related gains in word retrieval. 'Traditional' group treatment has many positive features, but clinicians need to be cautious regarding the extent of impairment-related gains that can be expected, which seem small at best.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)81-95
    Number of pages15
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • anomia
    • Aphasia
    • group treatment
    • rehabilitation
    • word retrieval


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