Authors: Nikravesh M, Aghajanzadeh M, Maroufizadeh S, Saffarian A, Jafari Z
Title: Working memory training in post-stroke aphasia: Near and far transfer effects
Source: Journal of Communication Disorders 2021 89: Article ID: 106077
Year: 2021
Research Design: Non Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: 04/10
This rating is confirmed
Eligibility specified - Yes
Random allocation - No
Concealed allocation - No
Baseline comparability - Yes
Blind subjects - No
Blind therapists - No
Blind assessors - No
Adequate follow-up - Yes
Intention-to-treat analysis - No
Between-group comparisons - Yes
Point estimates and variability - Yes

Purpose: Individuals with aphasia (IWA) show various impairments in speech, language, and cognitive functions. Working memory (WM), a cognitive system that functions to hold and manipulate information in support of complex, goal-directed behaviors, is one of the impaired cognitive domains in aphasia. The present study intended to examine the effects of a WM training program on both memory and language performance in IWA. Method: This quasi-experimental study with an active control group was performed on 25 people with mild or moderate Broca's aphasia aged 29-61 years resulting from left hemisphere damage following ischemic stroke. Participants were assigned into two groups, including a training group (n = 13) and a control group (n = 12). The treatment and control groups received WM training and routine speech therapy, respectively. Two separate lists of WM tests, including one list for both pre-training assessment and training program and a second list for the post-training assessment, were used in this study. Results: The treatment group showed significant improvements in both trained and non-trained WM tasks (near transfer effect) and language performance (far transfer effect) compared to the control group. Conclusion: Given the good generalizability of the WM training program on both WM and language performance, WM training is suggested as part of the rehabilitation program in aphasia.

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