Authors: Takizawa T, Nishida N, Ikemoto A, Kurauchi N
Title: Comparison of single-word therapy versus sentence therapy for verb retrieval and sentence production in Broca’s aphasia
Source: Aphasiology 2015 29(2): 169-194
Year: 2015
Research Design: Single Case Design

Background: In the existing literature, verb therapy studies take one of two approaches regarding verb retrieval: (1) the single-word level, in which verbs are treated similarly to nouns, and (2) the sentence level, which emphasises the relationship between verbs and nouns in a sentence. Few studies have directly compared the efficacy of both the approaches. Aims: The primary aim of this article is, first, to compare the efficacy of single-word therapy versus sentence therapy for verb retrieval and, second, to examine the impact of each type of therapy on single-word and sentence production in connected speech. Methods & Procedures: Using a single-subject crossover within-subjects design, six participants with Broca's aphasia were trained to retrieve verbs under two therapy conditions: single-word therapy and sentence therapy. Additionally, a connected speech task was administered in the baseline phase and after each therapy condition. The impact of the two therapies on sentence production was measured using the samples derived from the connected speech. Outcomes & Results: At the group level, all six participants showed highly significant and equal improvement in verb retrieval after receiving both the types of therapy. However, at the individual level, participants were found to show different results compared with the overall group tendency. One participant benefited more from single-word therapy than sentence therapy, while another showed the reverse pattern. At the group level, in connected speech the number of grammatical sentences, especially single-argument structure sentences, and the number of verbs increased significantly after single-word therapy. After sentence therapy, however, there was no significant change in mean length of utterance (MLU), the number of grammatical sentences and the number of verbs. Conclusions: At the group level, verb retrieval in participants with Broca's aphasia improved significantly after both the types of therapy. For connected speech, however, only single-word therapy brought about significant changes.

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