Novel Technology for Treating Individuals With Aphasia and Concomitant Cognitive DeficitsBy Cherney, Leora R.; Halper, Anita S.; Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation, Vol. 15, No. 6, pp. 542-554
Publication Date: November-December 2008
Study assessed the feasibility of using a computer for script training with individuals with aphasia and accompanying cognitive deficits. The technology evaluated in the study was AphasiaScripts, a software program using an avatar, the Personalized Animated Therapist (PAT), for script training. The study describes script development and training with 3 participants with aphasia and concomitant cognitive deficits subsequent to a single left hemisphere stroke. With each participant, 3 scripts were developed and recorded on topics such as ordering food in a restaurant, giving a speech about aphasia, and conversing with a sales assistant at a clothing store. Participants practiced the scripts sequentially for a minimum of 30 minutes per day for 3 weeks each, in unison with PAT followed by independent practice. Practice was monitored and progress assessed weekly. Baseline and post-treatment scripts were audiotaped, transcribed, and compared to the target scripts for content, grammatical productivity, and rate of production of script-related words. Interviews were also conducted at the conclusion of treatment. Results showed great variability in improvements across scripts, with 2 participants improving on 2 of their 3 scripts in measures of content, grammatical productivity, and rate of production of script-related words. Factors that may have affected consistency of outcomes discussed include practice time and duration, type and topic of script, and level of difficulty. Positive themes identified from exit interviews included increased verbal communication, increased confidence, and satisfaction with the software. Study limitations and implications for future research are discussed.
Published by: Thomas Land Publishers, Inc. (Website:http://www.thomasland.com)
National Stroke Association (Web Site: http://www.stroke.org )
Link to text: http://thomasland.metapress.com/content/r44q061k563h7123/
This publication is included in the library of the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC), accession number J55918