Authors: Mauszycki SC, Nessler C, Wambaugh JL
Title: Melodic intonation therapy applied to the production of questions in aphasia
Source: Aphasiology 2016 30(10): 1094-1116
Year: 2016
Research Design: Single Case Design

Background: Melodic intonation therapy (MIT) is a treatment approach used to facilitate verbal production in adults with aphasia by combining melodic intoning and rhythmic tapping. Although MIT was developed in the early 1970s, there is limited empirical evidence documenting specific behavioural outcomes. Aims: Two individuals with chronic Broca’s aphasia and acquired apraxia of speech received MIT applied to wh-questions in the context of multiple baseline designs. Methods & Procedures: Linguistic principles were applied to the selection of items used for treatment and measurement of generalisation effects. The dependent variables were (a) production of wh-questions and (b) articulatory accuracy via percentage of consonants correct in the production of wh-questions. Results: For Participant 1, there was an increase in the production of wh-questions for only one wh-morpheme which was maintained at 6 weeks post-treatment. For Participant 2, there was an increase in production of wh-questions for two wh-morphemes; however, performance was variable and declined by 6 weeks post-treatment. For both participants, there were modest gains in percentage of consonants correct for treated and generalisation items at 6 weeks post-treatment. Conclusions: There were limited gains in the production of wh-questions for both participants with the application of MIT. However, there were modest gains in percentage of consonants correct. MIT as applied in this investigation to wh-questions utilising linguistic principles did not result in improvement in the formulation and production of wh-questions, but treatment did have positive effects on articulatory accuracy for treatment and generalisation items. Additional research is needed to further examine the efficacy of MIT for outcomes involving both language and speech production.

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