The Efficacy of Group Communication Treatment in Adults With Chronic Aphasia 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 ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 1999
The Efficacy of Group Communication Treatment in Adults With Chronic Aphasia
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Roberta J. Elman
    Aphasia Center of California Oakland
  • Ellen Bernstein-Ellis
    Aphasia Center of California Oakland
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: rjelman@aol.com
Article Information
Language Disorders / Aphasia / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 1999
The Efficacy of Group Communication Treatment in Adults With Chronic Aphasia
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1999, Vol. 42, 411-419. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4202.411
History: Received November 28, 1997 , Accepted April 30, 1998
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1999, Vol. 42, 411-419. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4202.411
History: Received November 28, 1997; Accepted April 30, 1998

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.

Acknowledgments
This project was supported in part by a National Easter Seal Society Research Program grant awarded to the first author. Preliminary data from this project were presented at the 1996 Clinical Aphasiology Conference, the 1996 International Aphasia Rehabilitation Conference, and the 1996 Annual Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Appreciation is extended to Jerry Solfrin for his assistance in the statistical analyses, to Paoli Lacey for her creative expression classes, to Sandra Gerstel and Jeanne Anthony for their assistance in the treatment groups, and to Laura Fisher and Elisa Kingsbury for their help with test score calculation. We wish to acknowledge Cynthia Thompson and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful suggestions during review of this manuscript. Finally, we would like to extend our thanks to all of the individuals with aphasia who participated in this research.
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