A Computerised Communication Aid in Severe Aphasia: An Exploratory StudyBy van de Sandt-Koenderman, W. Mieke E.; Wiegers, Jiska; Wielaert, Sandra M.; Duivenvoorden, Hugo J.; Ribbers, Gerard M.; Disability and Rehabilitation, Vol. 29, No. 22, pp. 1707-1709
Publication Date: November 2007
Study examined the efficacy of TouchSpeak (TS), a computerized communication aid for people with aphasia. TS is the commercial version of the Portable Communication Assistant for People with Dysphasia (PCAD) and runs on a commercially available handheld computer. The TS vocabulary comprises functional utterances, tailored to the individual user’s communicative needs. The vocabulary items are addressed by clicking buttons on the computer screen, thus navigating the hierarchical system and activating a message. The messages can be spoken by the computer using digitized or synthesized speech or displayed on the LCD screen. Participants were trained to use TS in 2 self-chosen communicative situations. The ability to navigate the hierarchical vocabulary and overall communicative ability were assessed. Participants rated their communicative success with and without TS. Three years after completion of the training, participants were interviewed about their present use of TS. Of the 34 participants included in the study, 32 (94 percent) completed the vocabulary training and 26 subjects (76 percent) used TS outside the clinic in 2 trained communicative situations. Overall communication ability improved, as tested in untrained scenarios. Quality of communication with TS was rated higher than without TS. Seventeen participants (50 percent) obtained their own TS after the training and after 3 years, 6 percent still used TS.
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International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (Web Site: http://www.isprm.org )