Authors: Antonucci SM
Title: Use of semantic feature analysis in group aphasia treatment
Source: Aphasiology 2009 23(7-8): 854-866
Year: 2009
Research Design: Single Case Design

BACKGROUND: Semantic feature analysis (SFA) is a treatment for lexical retrieval impairment in which participants are cued to provide semantic information about concepts they have difficulty naming in an effort to facilitate accurate lexical retrieval (Boyle, 2004b). The majority of studies of SFA have concentrated on single-word training, with inconsistent generalisation of improved lexical retrieval to connected speech. Expansion of SFA training in discourse has yielded modest success in the context of individual treatment, but has not been examined in the context of group treatment. AIMS: The aim of the current study was to investigate training of SFA in connected speech during group aphasia treatment, which provides a natural context for analysing the effectiveness of discourse production, as well as representing an increasingly popular model of service delivery for aphasia treatment. It was hypothesised that lexical retrieval during discourse would improve, as would overall communication informativeness. METHODS and PROCEDURES: Three individuals with aphasia participated in biweekly group treatment during which SFA was trained during discourse production tasks. Two of the three individuals participated in the entire course of treatment. Discourse of these two participants was analysed such that effect sizes could be calculated for measures of overall communication informativeness and efficiency (Nicholas and Brookshire, 1993), and for item-specific lexical retrieval (Mayer and Murray, 2003). OUTCOMES and RESULTS: The two individuals who participated in the full treatment protocol both demonstrated improved lexical retrieval in discourse, with additional improvements observed in either general communication informativeness or efficiency. CONCLUSIONS: Results provide preliminary support for the hypotheses that SFA administered during group aphasia treatment can be used successfully to facilitate word retrieval during discourse. Furthermore, results suggest that individuals with differing mechanisms of anomia may derive benefits from participation in this treatment protocol.

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