Authors: Cameron RM, Wambaugh JL, Wright SM, Nessler CL
Title: Effects of a combined semantic/phonologic cueing treatment on word retrieval in discourse
Source: Aphasiology 2006 20(2-4): 269-285
Year: 2006
Research Design: Single Case Design

BACKGROUND: The application of word-finding treatments for aphasia, as well as the study of their effects, has typically centred on retrieval of single lexical items (Nickels, 2002b). Little is known about the effects of word-finding treatments on lexical retrieval in discourse tasks. AIMS: The purpose of this investigation was to study the effects of a combined semantic/phonologic cueing treatment on trained and untrained single words produced in the context of story retells. Generalisation to additional connected speech tasks was also assessed. METHODS AND PROCEDURES: A well-studied story retell procedure (Doyle et al., 2000) was used to guide selection of items for treatment and for measurement of treatment effects. A semantic/phonologic cueing hierarchy was applied to information units (IUs) that were consistently absent from the story retells produced by five participants with aphasia. Treatment effects on retrieval of targeted IUs and overall IUs were measured using single-subject multiple-baseline designs. Analyses of efficiency and informativeness of additional discourse tasks were performed prior to and following intervention. OUTCOMES AND RESULTS: Four of five participants demonstrated improved retrieval of targeted IUs and negligible generalisation to production of overall IUs for both treated story forms. The remaining participant exhibited minimal improvements in production of both targeted and untrained IUs for both applications of treatment, but was the only individual who increased informativeness of discourse on a post-treatment measure of connected speech., CONCLUSIONS: Findings indicated that a combined semantic/phonologic cueing treatment may be effective for increasing production of targeted words at a discourse level for some individuals with aphasia, but the effects may vary across speakers.

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