Writing Treatment for Severe Aphasia Who Benefits? Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2003
Writing Treatment for Severe Aphasia
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Pélagie M. Beeson
    The University of Arizona, Tucson
  • Kindle Rising
    The University of Arizona, Tucson
  • Jennifer Volk
    The University of Arizona, Tucson
  • Contact author: Pélagie M. Beeson, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, P.O. Box 210071, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721-0071. E-mail: pelagie@u.arizona.edu
Article Information
Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Aphasia / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2003
Writing Treatment for Severe Aphasia
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2003, Vol. 46, 1038-1060. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2003/083)
History: Received December 11, 2002 , Accepted March 4, 2003
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2003, Vol. 46, 1038-1060. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2003/083)
History: Received December 11, 2002; Accepted March 4, 2003
Web of Science® Times Cited: 32

Writing treatment that involved repeated copying and recall of target words was implemented with 8 individuals with severe aphasia in order to discern the best candidates for the treatment. Four of the 8 participants had strong positive responses to the copy and recall treatment (CART), relearning spellings for 15 targeted words during 10 to 12 weeks of treatment and up to 5 additional words during a month-long homework-based program. Of the 4 other participants, 3 learned the spellings of some target words but failed to reach criterion, and 1 had a poor treatment outcome. Insights regarding possible factors that limited success were gained by examination of individual responses to treatment as well as performance on the pretreatment assessments of semantic, phonological, and orthographic processes. Among the factors associated with success were (a) consistent, accurate completion of daily homework, (b) a relatively preserved semantic system, (c) the ability to discern words from nonwords, and (d) adequately preserved nonverbal visual problem-solving skills. Aphasia severity and minimal pretreatment spelling abilities did not necessarily limit the response to treatment. Participants with positive treatment outcomes demonstrated improved spelling of target words following repeated copying within a single treatment session, and accurately completed daily writing homework. Thus, pretreatment assessment and stimulability within initial treatment sessions provided indications of likely outcome.

Acknowledgments
We wish to thank Randall R. Robey for his guidance in the analysis of treatment effects, and Jullyn Chargualaf for her assistance in the preparation of the manuscript. We also express our appreciation to the participants for their hard work and good humor throughout the course of this study. This work was supported in part by National Multipurpose Research and Training Center Grant DC-01409 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders to The University of Arizona.
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