Authors: Fox S, Armstrong E, Boles L
Title: Conversational treatment in mild aphasia: A case study
Source: Aphasiology 2009 23(7-8): 951-964
Year: 2009
Research Design: Single Case Design

BACKGROUND: The literature suggests that mild aphasia negatively affects everyday experiences, social life, and identity. However, while mild word-finding problems and difficulty understanding abstract or grammatically complex language are typical clinical characteristics, their impact on everyday discourse and conversation partners remains relatively unexplored. Similarly, treatment studies addressing conversational difficulties have predominantly included those with moderate to severe aphasia, rather than those at the mild end of the severity scale. AIMS: The current study examines conversational difficulties in mild aphasia and their accessibility to a conversational treatment procedure. METHODS and PROCEDURES: A woman with mild aphasia and her husband participated in the study. They underwent 14 sessions of conversational therapy, based on the procedures of Boles (1998) and Boles and Lewis (2003). Outcome measures included subjective ratings by the couple regarding conversational parameters they deemed important, ratings of their interactions by independent judges on the Measure of skill in Supported Conversation (MSC) and the Measure of Participation in Conversation (MPC) (Kagan et al., 2004), independent judgments of whether interactions were pre or post-treatment, as well as a series of behavioural measures related to specific goals collaboratively set by the couple and the clinician. OUTCOMES and RESULTS: Improvements were noted in both the participants' ratings and the independent judges' ratings. While some changes were noted on behavioural measures, clear patterns were not always evident. CONCLUSIONS: The study suggests that conversational treatment may be beneficial to couples dealing with mild aphasia as well as those at the more severe end of the continuum as reported previously. However, measures of the effects of treatment need to be further explored in terms of sensitivity to conversational changes in mild aphasia.

Access: Paywall