The efficacy of group communication treatment in adults with chronic aphasia

R J Elman, E Bernstein-Ellis
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research: JSLHR 1999, 42 (2): 411-9
We examined the effects of group communication treatment on linguistic and communicative performance in adults with chronic aphasia. Participants were randomly assigned to two treatment and two deferred treatment groups. Groups were balanced for age, education level, and initial aphasia severity. Twenty-four participants completed the 4-month treatment trial. While in the treatment condition, all participants received 5 hours of group communication treatment weekly, provided by a speech-language pathologist. The focus of treatment included increasing initiation of conversation and exchanging information using whatever communicative means possible. While awaiting group communication treatment, participants in the deferred treatment groups engaged in such activities as support, performance, or movement groups in order to control for the effects of social contact. Linguistic and communicative measures were administered to all participants at entry, after 2 and 4 months of treatment, and following 4 to 6 weeks of no treatment. In addition, participants in the deferred treatment groups received an additional administration of all measures just before their treatment trial. Results revealed that participants receiving group communication treatment had significantly higher scores on communicative and linguistic measures than participants not receiving treatment. In addition, significant increases were revealed after 2 months of treatment and after 4 months of treatment. No significant decline in performance occurred at time of follow-up.


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