Authors: Knollman-Porter K, Dietz A, Dahlem K
Title: Intensive Auditory Comprehension Treatment for Severe Aphasia: A Feasibility Study
Source: American Journal of Speech Language Pathology 2018 27(3): 936-949
Year: 2018
Research Design: Single Case Design

Background: Severe auditory comprehension impairments secondary to aphasia can adversely influence rehabilitative outcomes and quality of life. Studies examining intensive rehabilitative treatments for severe single-word auditory comprehension impairments are needed. Objectives: Our purpose was to examine the feasibility and influence of a high-intensity word–picture verification treatment on high-frequency, word response accuracy. Research questions: (a) Can people with severe aphasia tolerate an intensive comprehension treatment? (b) Does an intensive intervention increase auditory comprehension response accuracy of spoken high-frequency words? Method: This single-case ABA design study included 2 participants with chronic, severe auditory comprehension deficits secondary to stroke. A high-frequency, word–picture verification treatment was administered 2 hr/day, 5 days/week for 4 weeks and required participants to match the spoken word of the examiner to a picture representing an object. Results: Preliminary results suggest that some people with severe chronic aphasia can tolerate an intensive auditory comprehension treatment and demonstrate improvements in high-frequency, word-level response accuracy with large effect sizes suggesting generalization to untrained stimuli. Conclusions: An intensive auditory comprehension treatment protocol can contribute to improvements in response accuracy for some people with severe aphasia. Larger sample size studies are needed to further examine the influence of intensity on improvements in auditory comprehension.

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