Authors: Kurland J, Stanek EJ, Stokes P, Li M, Andrianopoulos M
Title: Intensive Language Action Therapy in Chronic Aphasia: A Randomized Clinical Trial Examining Guidance by Constraint
Source: American Journal of Speech Language Pathology 2016 25(4S): S798-S812
Year: 2016
Research Design: Non Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: N/A
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Purpose: Intensive language action therapy (ILAT) can be effective in overcoming learned nonuse in chronic aphasia. It is suggested that all three guiding principles (constraint, communication embedding, massed practice) are essential to ILAT's success. We examined whether one of these, guidance by constraint, is critical. Method: Twenty-four participants with aphasia (PWAs) were assigned to ILAT or a modified version of promoting aphasic communicative effectiveness (PACE) in a randomized block, single-blind, parallel-group treatment study. Blocking was by severity (mild/moderate, moderate to severe, severe). Both groups received intensive treatment in the context of therapeutic language action games. Whereas the ILAT group was guided toward spoken responses, the PACE group could choose any response modality. Results: All participants, whether assigned to ILAT or PACE groups, improved on the primary outcome measure, picture naming. There was a Severity × Treatment interaction, with the largest effects estimated for PWAs with mild/moderate and moderate to severe aphasia. Regardless of severity, the ILAT group outperformed the PACE group on untrained pictures, suggesting some benefit of ILAT to generalization. However, this difference was not statistically significant. Conclusion: Although the groups differed in subtle ways, including better generalization to untrained pictures for ILAT, the study was inconclusive on the influence of guidance by constraint.

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