Authors: Yasuda K, Nemoto T, Takenaka K, Mitachi M, Kuwabara K
Title: Effectiveness of a vocabulary data file, encyclopaedia, and Internet homepages in a conversation-support system for people with moderate-to-severe aphasia
Source: Aphasiology 2007 21(9): 867-882
Year: 2007
Research Design: Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: 03/10
This rating is confirmed
Eligibility specified - N
Random allocation - Y
Concealed allocation - N
Baseline comparability - N
Blind subjects - N
Blind therapists - N
Blind assessors - N
Adequate follow-up - Y
Intention-to-treat analysis - N
Between-group comparisons - Y
Point estimates and variability - N

Background: In order to facilitate conversation for people with moderate-to-severe aphasia, a conversation-support system has been developed. This system consists of three electronic resources: a vocabulary data file, an encyclopaedia, and homepages on the Internet. The vocabulary data file we created contains approximately 50,000 words, mostly consisting of various proper names, which are classified into 10 categories. These words function as keywords in conversation. Aims: To evaluate the effectiveness of the three resources in eliciting new information from people with aphasia. Methods and Procedures: Fifteen people with non-fluent and moderate-to-severe aphasia participated in the experiment. Participants conversed with their communication partners about four topics under use and non-use conditions. Under the use condition, partners showed pages from one of the three resources on the screen of a personal computer. Participants were asked to select words on the pages, or use other modalities (verbal or nonverbal), to answer questions. Three evaluators gave points for information conveyed correctly. Outcomes and Results: Comparison of the points between the use and non-use conditions showed that significantly more information was conveyed when the vocabulary data file was used. On the other hand, the amount of points did not increase in the use condition using the encyclopaedia or homepages. Conclusions: The vocabulary date file succeeded in eliciting more information from people with moderate-to-severe aphasia within a limited timeframe. Presentation of the keyword or proper name lists related to the topics was shown to be a useful conversation resource for people with moderate-to-severe aphasia. As for the encyclopaedia and homepages, further research is required to determine whether or not these resources in collaboration with the data file can further facilitate conversation.

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