Authors: Purdy M, Wallace SE
Title: Intensive multimodal communication treatment for people with chronic aphasia
Source: Aphasiology 2016 30(10): 1071-1093
Year: 2016
Research Design: Single Case Design

Background: Clinicians often teach persons with aphasia (PWA) non-verbal strategies to compensate for reduced verbal communication. The manner in which they teach the strategies may have an impact on how well PWA generalise and use the strategies. Previously, multimodal communication treatment (MCT) taught multiple modalities simultaneously. While participants demonstrated some increase in the flexible use of strategies, many communication breakdowns continued to occur. Recent research suggests that intensive treatment protocols result in the greatest increase in skills. Aims: The purpose of this study was to determine whether intensive (2-3 hours/day, 5 days/week, for 2 weeks) multimodality communication training for aphasia resulted in increased successful use of verbal and non-verbal communication modalities as well as increased successful communicative repairs during structured communication tasks. Methods & Procedures: Three participants with chronic aphasia completed four baseline sessions, 10 treatment sessions across two phases (i.e., five sessions per phase), and three post-treatment sessions. Outcomes & Results: Two of the three participants demonstrated gains in the acquisition of non-verbal strategies during training and increased use of strategies on a referential communication task.Conclusions: Although MCT delivered intensely resulted in increased use of non-verbal modalities for two out of three participants, the results were similar to that achieved through the use of a non-intensive treatment protocol. Therefore, future research is needed to examine other potential modifications to maximise the gains people with aphasia receive from multimodal interventions.

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