Authors: Katz RC, Wertz RT
Title: Computerized hierarchical reading treatment in aphasia
Source: Aphasiology 1992 6(2): 165-177
Year: 1992
Research Design: Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: 05/10
This rating is confirmed
Eligibility specified - N
Random allocation - Y
Concealed allocation - N
Baseline comparability - Y
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 - Y

Computerized reading activities were presented to 43 chronic aphasic Ss (aged 49-74 yrs) who were no longer receiving speech-language therapy to determine the effectiveness of computer-provided treatment. Subjects were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 conditions: 78 hours of computer reading treatment, 78 hours of computer stimulation, or no treatment. Clinician interaction was minimal. Treatment software automatically adjusted task difficulty in response to subject performance by incorporating traditional treatment procedures such as hierarchically arranged tasks and measurement of performance on baseline and generalization stimulus sets, in conjunction with complex branching algorithms. Three administrations of standardized tests at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months revealed improved scores (p<0.05) for the treatment group. The treatment group made more improvement on the Porch Index of Communicative Ability overall score than the other 2 groups. Results suggest that (1) computerized reading treatment can be administered with minimal assistance from a clinician, (2) improvement on the computerized treatment tasks generalizes to improvement on noncomputer language performance, (3) improvement results from the specific language content of the software, and (4) chronic aphasic patients can improve performance through computerized treatment.

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