Authors: Bastiaanse R, Hurkmans J, Links P
Title: The training of verb production in Broca’s aphasia: a multiple-baseline across-behaviours study
Source: Aphasiology 2006 20(2-4): 298-311
Year: 2006
Research Design: Single Case Design

BACKGROUND: Verb production is often impaired in Broca's aphasia: Action naming is more affected than object naming and in spontaneous speech the number and/or diversity of lexical verbs is low. Because verbs play a pivotal role in the sentence, these verb problems have a serious impact on the communicative contents of speech in daily life. AIMS: The purpose of this study was to increase the informational content of spontaneous speech in two individuals with Broca's aphasia by training them in verb production. METHODS AND PROCEDURES: Verb production was trained at the sentence level, using the treatment programme Verb Production at the Word and Sentence Level (Bastiaanse, Jonkers, Quak, & Varela, 1997). Six baseline sessions were planned, followed by a training programme to learn infinitives, finite verbs, and sentence construction in one participant and finite verbs, infinitives, and sentences in the other. The participants were tested each week for progress on infinitives and finite verbs not in the programme and an unrelated test. Pre-treatment and post-treatment (directly after and 3 months after treatment stopped) the Aachen Aphasia Test (AAT) and the Amsterdam-Nijmegen Everyday Language Test (ANELT) were administered and spontaneous speech was elicited and analysed with respect to verbs, nouns, and utterance length. OUTCOMES AND RESULTS: Both participants improved significantly on the production of untrained finite verbs. No improvement was made on the untrained infinitives. There was also significant improvement on related subtests of the AAT, but no improvement on unrelated subtests. Both also showed a significant improvement on verb production in spontaneous speech and in verbal communication, as measured on the ANELT. CONCLUSIONS: The treatment programme has been shown to be an effective tool for training participants in verb production. The most important criteria for relevant treatment were met: generalisation to spontaneous speech and improvement in verbal communication.

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