Authors: van Hees S, Angwin A, McMahon K, Copland D
Title: A comparison of semantic feature analysis and phonological components analysis for the treatment of naming impairments in aphasia
Source: Neuropsychological Rehabilitation 2013 23(1): 102-132
Year: 2013
Research Design: Case Series

Therapy for naming impairments post-stroke typically involves semantic and/or phonologically-based tasks. However, the relationship between individuals' locus of breakdown in word retrieval and their response to a particular treatment approach remains unclear, and direct comparisons of treatments with different targets (semantics, phonology) yet similar formats are lacking. This study examined eight people with aphasia who each received 12 treatment sessions; half the sessions involved a semantically-based treatment task, Semantic Feature Analysis (SFA), and the other half involved a phonologically-based treatment task, Phonological Components Analysis (PCA). Pre-therapy baseline accuracy scores were compared to naming accuracy post-treatment and at follow-up assessment. Seven of the eight participants showed significant improvements in naming items treated with PCA, with six of these seven participants maintaining improvements at follow-up. Four of the eight participants showed significant improvements for items treated with SFA, with three of the four maintaining improvements at follow-up. The semantic therapy was not beneficial for participants with semantic deficits. In contrast, the phonological therapy was beneficial for most participants, despite differences in underlying impairments. Understanding the relationship between an individual's locus of breakdown in word retrieval and response to different treatment tasks has the potential to optimise targeted treatment.

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