The Efficacy of Computer-Provided Reading Treatment for Chronic Aphasic Adults We examined the effects of computer-provided reading activities on language performance in chronic aphasic patients. Fifty-five aphasic adults were assigned randomly to one of three conditions: computer reading treatment, computer stimulation, or no treatment. Subjects in the computer groups used computers 3 hours each week for 26 weeks. Computer reading ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1997
The Efficacy of Computer-Provided Reading Treatment for Chronic Aphasic Adults
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Richard C. Katz
    Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center Phoenix, AZ and Arizona State University Tempe
  • Robert T. Wertz
    Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center Nashville, TN and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Nashville, TN
Article Information
Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Aphasia / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1997
The Efficacy of Computer-Provided Reading Treatment for Chronic Aphasic Adults
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1997, Vol. 40, 493-507. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4003.493
History: Received October 10, 1995 , Accepted November 20, 1996
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1997, Vol. 40, 493-507. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4003.493
History: Received October 10, 1995; Accepted November 20, 1996

We examined the effects of computer-provided reading activities on language performance in chronic aphasic patients. Fifty-five aphasic adults were assigned randomly to one of three conditions: computer reading treatment, computer stimulation, or no treatment. Subjects in the computer groups used computers 3 hours each week for 26 weeks. Computer reading treatment software consisted of visual matching and reading comprehension tasks. Computer stimulation software consisted of nonverbal games and cognitive rehabilitation tasks. Language measures were administered to all subjects at entry and after 3 and 6 months. Significant improvement over the 26 weeks occurred on five language measures for the computer reading treatment group, on one language measure for the computer stimulation group, and on none of the language measures for the notreatment group. The computer reading treatment group displayed significantly more improvement on the Porch Index of Communicative Ability “Overall” and “Verbal” modality percentiles and on the Western Aphasia Battery Aphasia “Quotient” and “Repetition” subtest than the other two groups. The results suggest that (a) computerized reading treatment can be administered with minimal assistance from a clinician, (b) improvement on the computerized reading treatment tasks generalized to non-computer language performance, (c) improvement resulted from the language content of the software and not stimulation provided by a computer, and (d) the computerized reading treatment we provided to chronic aphasic patients was efficacious.

Acknowledgment
This project was supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Research and Development Service, Department of Medicine and Surgery (C400-RA). We acknowledge the valuable contributions of Jock Root who programmed the reading treatment software; Jacque MacIntyre who programmed portions of the authoring and editing software; Susan Lewis who developed treatment material; and Ms. Lewis, Cami Esparza, and Isabelle Capari who collected subject data. We are most grateful to Leonard Katz for his considerable assistance and guidance in the statistical analysis of the data. We wish to thank Vivian Nagy for her valuable efforts at the inception of this project. We also wish to express our gratitude to the many people who volunteered their time in order to participate in this study. Finally, we wish to acknowledge Cynthia Thompson, Connie Tompkins, and an anonymous reviewer for their helpful suggestions during review of this manuscript.
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