Authors: Dunne M, Hoover E, DeDe G
Title: Efficacy of Aphasia Group Conversation Treatment via Telepractice on Language and Patient-Reported Outcome Measures
Source: American Journal of Speech Language Pathology 2023 32(5S): 2565-2579
Year: 2023
Research Design: Non Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: 01/10
This rating is confirmed
Eligibility specified - Yes
Random allocation - No
Concealed allocation - No
Baseline comparability - No
Blind subjects - No
Blind therapists - No
Blind assessors - No
Adequate follow-up - No
Intention-to-treat analysis - No
Between-group comparisons - No
Point estimates and variability - Yes

PURPOSE: Conversation treatment for people with aphasia (PwA) can lead to significant changes in language impairment and quality of life. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the greater use of telepractice treatment delivery. However, there is little evidence regarding the efficacy of telepractice conversation groups. This study investigated the effects of telepractice group conversation treatment on standardized measures of language function and socially oriented/patient-reported outcomes compared to in-person and no-treatment control data. METHOD: This study used a mixed within- and between-groups design (repeated measure/pre-post treatment), with a single-subject delayed treatment design (Shadish & Rindskopf, 2007) to establish baseline, pretreatment, and posttreatment periods for the telepractice group. Telepractice results pre- and posttreatment were compared with historical in-person and no-treatment control data obtained from a larger randomized control trial (RCT) from DeDe et al. (2019). The historical comparison data were a subset of RCT participants from the same location and included six in-person participants and seven no-treatment control group participants. RESULTS: Results of standardized testing conducted at baseline, pretreatment, and posttreatment intervals revealed significant improvement from pre- to posttreatment on repetition and picture description tasks for the telepractice group, and significant improvement from pre- to posttreatment on the Aphasia Communication Outcome Measure, total number of relevant utterances, and percentage of complete utterances for the in-person conversation group. No significant differences were observed in the no-treatment groups. CONCLUSIONS: In contrast to the no-treatment condition, both the in-person and telepractice conditions showed the benefits of conversation group treatment. The in-person treatment condition showed improvements in a wider number of outcome measures than the telepractice condition. Overall, the results prompt further research regarding telepractice group conversation treatment for PwA.

Access: Paywall