Authors: Bonakdarpour B, Eftekharzadeh A, Ashayeri H
Title: Melodic intonation therapy in Persian aphasic patients
Source: Aphasiology 2003 17(1): 75-95
Year: 2003
Research Design: Case Series

BACKGROUND: Melodic intonation therapy (MIT) is a well-known method of aphasia rehabilitation using prosodically based melodic phrases. The literature includes MIT adapted to many languages and efficiently applied to certain groups of non-fluent aphasic patients. However, there has been no report on the efficacy of the method for Persian-speaking patients. AIMS: The objective of this study was primarily to investigate the effects of 15 sessions of MIT treatment (adapted to the Persian language) in selected patients with non-fluent aphasia; primarily on expository speech (phrase length and number of correct content units) and oral expression skills (repetition, responsive naming, and confrontational naming), and secondarily, on auditory comprehension abilities (word discrimination, commands). METHODS AND PROCEDURES: Participants in the study included seven right-handed Persian-speaking patients afflicted with chronic (>14 months post-onset) non-fluent aphasia. Based on the rules of Persian prosody, MIT was adapted to the Persian language. Using a pre, post treatment design, each outcome measure was tested twice before and twice after MIT treatment. Changes in the variables not treated were also measured as baselines controlling treatment effects. OUTCOMES AND RESULTS: Using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test, improvements in the selected variables were shown to be statistically significant after the treatment phase and not during the treatment-free phases. Non-target variables remained unchanged after the treatment and throughout the non-treatment phases. CONCLUSIONS: Our study showed that MIT can be adapted for Persian aphasic patients and administered with measurable positive results after 15 sessions of treatment. MIT improved primarily spontaneous speech production, and as minor effects, selected oral expression and auditory comprehension subtests. Therefore MIT might be considered as a method for the rehabilitation of selected non-fluent Persian aphasic patients. More long-term follow-up studies with randomised controlled clinical trials are needed for stronger conclusions.

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