Authors: Murray LL, Ray AH
Title: A comparison of relaxation training and syntax stimulation for chronic nonfluent aphasia
Source: Journal of Communication Disorders 2001 34(1-2): 87-113
Year: 2001
Research Design: Single Case Design

This study examined the effects of relaxation training and syntax stimulation on the spoken language abilities of a 59-year-old male with chronic, nonfluent aphasia of moderate severity. Relaxation training consisted of progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) and guided imagery (GI), whereas the syntax stimulation was a modified version of the Helm Elicited Program for Syntax Stimulation (HELPSS) [(1981). Helm Elicited Language Program for Syntax Stimulation. Austin, TX: Pro-Ed.]. These treatments were applied in the context of a single-subject alternating treatments plus baseline design. Results indicated that although both treatments produced improvements in spoken language, syntax stimulation was associated with larger improvements, particularly in terms of the proportions of grammatical utterances, correct information units (CIUs), and successful utterances produced by the participant. Analysis of treatment order, however, indicated that the participant's best performances of the syntax treatment and of the probe tasks occurred when relaxation training preceded syntax stimulation. These findings suggest that the simplicity and psychological benefits of relaxation training make it a complementary component to traditional linguistic programs for aphasia. Educational objectives: (1) The reader will understand how psychological responses to stress may affect the language processing abilities of adults with aphasia. (2) The reader will be able to describe how relaxation training complements a traditional language treatment approach for remediating spoken language abilities of adults with chronic nonfluent aphasia.

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