Delayed Stimulus-Specific Improvements in Discourse Following Anomia Treatment Using an Intentional Gesture PurposeIn this study, the authors assessed how the addition of intentional left-hand gestures to an intensive treatment for anomia affects 2 types of discourse: picture description and responses to open-ended questions.MethodFourteen people with aphasia completed treatment for anomia comprising 30 treatment sessions over 3 weeks. Seven subjects also incorporated intentional ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2014
Delayed Stimulus-Specific Improvements in Discourse Following Anomia Treatment Using an Intentional Gesture
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lori J. P. Altmann
    University of Florida, Gainesville
  • Audrey A. Hazamy
    University of Florida, Gainesville
  • Pamela J. Carvajal
    University of Florida, Gainesville
  • Michelle Benjamin
    University of Florida, Gainesville
    Malcom Randall VA Medical Center, Brain Research and Rehabilitation Research Center, Gainesville, FL
    University of Alabama, Birmingham
  • John C. Rosenbek
    University of Florida, Gainesville
  • Bruce Crosson
    University of Florida, Gainesville
    Malcom Randall VA Medical Center, Brain Research and Rehabilitation Research Center, Gainesville, FL
    VA Rehabilitation Research and Development Center of Excellence, Atlanta VA Medical Center, Decatur, GA
    Emory University, Atlanta, GA
    Georgia State University, Atlanta
  • Disclosure:The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure:The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Lori J. P. Altmann: laltmann@ufl.edu
  • Editor: Janna Oetting
    Editor: Janna Oetting×
  • Associate Editor: Margaret Blake
    Associate Editor: Margaret Blake×
Article Information
Special Populations / Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Aphasia / Language
Research Article   |   April 01, 2014
Delayed Stimulus-Specific Improvements in Discourse Following Anomia Treatment Using an Intentional Gesture
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2014, Vol. 57, 439-454. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2013/12-0224)
History: Received July 12, 2012 , Revised December 31, 2012 , Accepted June 17, 2013
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2014, Vol. 57, 439-454. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2013/12-0224)
History: Received July 12, 2012; Revised December 31, 2012; Accepted June 17, 2013
Web of Science® Times Cited: 2

PurposeIn this study, the authors assessed how the addition of intentional left-hand gestures to an intensive treatment for anomia affects 2 types of discourse: picture description and responses to open-ended questions.

MethodFourteen people with aphasia completed treatment for anomia comprising 30 treatment sessions over 3 weeks. Seven subjects also incorporated intentional left-hand gestures into each treatment trial.

ResultsBoth groups demonstrated significant changes in trained items and improved naming of untrained items but no change in Western Aphasia Battery—Aphasia Quotient (WAB–AQ; Kertesz, 1982) scores. Changes in discourse were limited to the 3-month follow-up assessment. Several discourse measures showed significant improvements in the picture description task and declines during question responses. Additionally, the gesture group produced more words at each assessment, whereas the no gesture group produced fewer words at each assessment. These patterns led to improvements in picture descriptions and minimal declines in question responses in the gesture group. In contrast, the no gesture group showed minimal improvements in picture descriptions and production declines in question responses relative to pretreatment levels.

ConclusionThe intensive treatment protocol is a successful method for improving picture naming even of untrained items. Further, the authors conclude that the intentional left-hand gesture contributed significantly to the generalization of treatment to discourse.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant R01DC007387, awarded to Bruce Crosson; Department of Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Research and Development Service Grant B6364L, awarded to Bruce Crosson; and National Institute on Aging Grant R21AG033284, awarded to Lori J. P. Altmann. We thank JoEllen Gilbert, Ceil Brooks, Flo Singletary, Zvinka Zlatar, and Stacy Harnish for treatment delivery and assessment data collection. We also thank Amanda Garcia, Jillian Green, and James Chastain for transcription assistance and Ashley Atkinson and Analise Wise for assistance in coding the articles. We also thank Heather Harris Wright for her insightful comments on previous versions of this article.
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