Authors: Marshall RS, Laures-Gore J, Love K
Title: Brief mindfulness meditation group training in aphasia: exploring attention, language and psychophysiological outcomes
Source: International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders 2018 53(1): 40-54
Year: 2018
Research Design: Non Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: N/A
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Background: Stroke is currently the leading cause of long-term disability in adults in the United States. There is a need for accessible, low-cost treatments of stroke-related disabilities such as aphasia. Aims: To explore an intervention for aphasia utilizing mindfulness meditation (MM). This preliminary study examines the feasibility of teaching MM to individuals with aphasia. Since physiological measures have not been collected for those with aphasia, the study was also an exploration of the potential attention, language and physiological changes after MM in adults with aphasia during a brief, daily group training. Methods & Procedures: A 5-day MM group training was provided to adults with aphasia (n = 5) with a waitlist control group (n = (3) who engaged in ‘mind wandering’. Participants were assigned to groups in a pseudo-random manner. A double baseline (2 days apart) was administered prior to the training and/or control group beginning. Both the training and the control groups met in a group setting. Salivary cortisol, heart rate and heart rate variability were measured during each day for both groups. Measures of attention, auditory comprehension and fluency were collected immediately after the study period and 1 week post-completion. Outcome & Results: This study reinforces findings from previous work indicating that adults with aphasia can learn MM. Although not statistically significant, the training group demonstrated improved fluency immediately after MM; however, changes were not maintained at follow-up. Physiological measures showed little effect associated with MM training. No changes in attention were observed for either group. Conclusion & Implications: This is an emerging area of interest due to the potential low cost of MM training. Furthermore, MM is easily taught to patients, suggesting the possibility for widespread use in clinical practice as a supplement to existing language-focused interventions.

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