Authors: Tilton-Bolowsky VE, Brock L, Nunn K, Evans WS, Vallila-Rohter S
Title: Incorporating Metacognitive Strategy Training Into Semantic Treatment Promotes Restitutive and Substitutive Gains in Naming: A Single-Subject Investigation
Source: American Journal of Speech Language Pathology 2023 32(5): 1979-2020
Year: 2023
Research Design: Single Case Design

PURPOSE: This study tested the effectiveness of a modified semantic feature analysis (SFA) treatment protocol that incorporated metacognitive strategy training (MST). Regarding its restitutive component, SFA most reliably results in improved word retrieval for treated items and untreated, semantically related items, but evidence of response generalization is often small/inconsistent. Regarding its substitutive component, SFA is thought to facilitate successful communication via habituation of the SFA circumlocution strategy. However, repeated practice with SFA's strategy in the absence of direct MST may not result in independent strategy use and/or generalization. Furthermore, people with aphasia's independent use of the SFA strategy in moments of anomia is presently underreported. To address these limitations, we incorporated MST into SFA and directly measured substitutive outcomes. METHOD: Four people with aphasia participated in 24 treatment sessions of SFA + MST in a single-subject, A-B experimental design with repeated measurements. We measured word retrieval accuracy, strategy use, and explicit strategy knowledge. We calculated effect sizes to measure changes in word retrieval accuracy and strategy use and used visual inspection to assess gains in explicit strategy knowledge from pre- to posttreatment and retention. RESULTS: Participants achieved marginally small to medium effects in word retrieval accuracy for treated; untreated, semantically related; and untreated, semantically unrelated items and marginally small to large effects in independent strategy use. Explicit strategy knowledge was variable. CONCLUSIONS: Across participants, SFA + MST yielded positive changes in word retrieval accuracy or strategy use, or both. Positive changes in word retrieval accuracy were comparable to other SFA studies. Positive changes in strategy use demonstrate preliminary evidence of this treatment's ability to yield restitutive and substitutive gains. Overall, this study offers preliminary evidence of SFA + MST's effectiveness and highlights the importance of directly measuring SFA's substitutive outcomes, which showed that people with aphasia can respond to this treatment in multiple successful ways—not just improved target word production.

Access: Paywall