Authors: Choe YK, Stanton K
Title: The effect of visual cues provided by computerised aphasia treatment
Source: Aphasiology 2011 25(9): 983-997
Year: 2011
Research Design: Single Case Design

Background: In the current healthcare system that often does not allow intensive and long-term rehabilitation services, computerised aphasia treatment is considered a promising alternative. Despite the increasing interest, it is largely unknown which components of computer programs are crucial in enhancing speech-language functions of individuals with aphasia. Aims: The current study compared auditory-visual cues (i.e., listening to speech while looking at the speaker's face) and auditory-only cues (i.e., listening to speech without the speaker's face shown) that were presented by a computerised practice program for verbal naming. It was predicted that greater gains would be observed in the auditory-visual condition than in the auditory-only condition regardless of the severity in perceptual deficits. Methods & Procedures: Two individuals (TV & ML) with chronic aphasia and verbal apraxia practised naming 10 items with video clips (auditory-visual condition) and 10 items with sound files (auditory-only condition). The practice programs provided an increasing level of support (e.g., cues and models) to facilitate word retrieval and verbal production. Outcomes & Results: TV made more rapid and consistent improvements in the auditory-visual condition than in the auditory-only condition. His performance in the two practice conditions did not differ significantly. ML demonstrated significant improvements in both conditions. A qualitative analysis on the number of words ML spontaneously produced without a clinician's support suggested the advantage of the auditory-visual practice. Conclusions: Data from the current study suggest the advantage of including auditory-visual stimuli in computerised aphasia treatment.

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