Authors: Nobis-Bosch R, Springer L, Radermacher I, Huber W
Title: Supervised Home Training of Dialogue Skills in Chronic Aphasia: A Randomized Parallel Group Study
Source: Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 2011 54(4): 1118-1136
Year: 2011
Research Design: Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: 07/10
This rating is confirmed
Eligibility specified - Y
Random allocation - Y
Concealed allocation - N
Baseline comparability - Y
Blind subjects - N
Blind therapists - N
Blind assessors - Y
Adequate follow-up - Y
Intention-to-treat analysis - Y
Between-group comparisons - Y
Point estimates and variability - Y

Purpose:The aim of the study was to prove the efficacy of supervised self-training for individuals with aphasia. Linguistic and communicative performance in structured dialogues represented the main study parameters. Method:In a cross-over design for randomized matched pairs, 18 individuals with chronic aphasia were examined during 12 weeks of supervised home training. Intensive language training, assisted by an electronic learning device (B.A.Bar), was compared with non-linguistic training. Language performance, communicative and cognitive abilities were controlled before and after each intervention and at follow-up. The language training was designed to facilitate dialogue skills as required in everyday life. Results:Robust and specific improvements in the participants' linguistic and communicative abilities were obtained using B.A.Bar dialogue training but not with non-linguistic training. The transfer to general linguistic and communicative performance remained limited upon considering the whole group. For 30 to 50 percent of the participants, individual analysis revealed significant improvements in spontaneous language and general communicative skills. Furthermore, individual participants demonstrated significant improvements regarding standardized aphasia assessment and proxy rating of communicative effectiveness. Conclusion:Supervised home training works. This study has proven that it is an effective tool for bolstering linguistic and communicative skills of individuals with aphasia.

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