Gesture and Naming Therapy for People With Severe Aphasia: A Group Study Purpose: In this study, the authors (a) investigated whether a group of people with severe aphasia could learn a vocabulary of pantomime gestures through therapy and (b) compared their learning of gestures with their learning of words. The authors also examined whether gesture therapy cued word production and whether ... Article
Article  |   June 2012
Gesture and Naming Therapy for People With Severe Aphasia: A Group Study
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jane Marshall
    City University, London, England
  • Wendy Best
    University College London, England
  • Naomi Cocks
    City University, London, England
  • Madeline Cruice
    City University, London, England
  • Tim Pring
    City University, London, England
  • Gemma Bulcock
    City University, London, England
  • Gemma Creek
    City University, London, England
  • Nancy Eales
    City University, London, England
  • Alice Lockhart Mummery
    City University, London, England
  • Niina Matthews
    City University, London, England
  • Anna Caute
    City University, London, England
  • Correspondence to Jane Marshall: J.Marshall@city.ac.uk
  • Editor: Janna Oetting
    Editor: Janna Oetting×
  • Associate Editor: Margaret Blake
    Associate Editor: Margaret Blake×
  • © 2012 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Language
Article   |   June 2012
Gesture and Naming Therapy for People With Severe Aphasia: A Group Study
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2012, Vol. 55, 726-738. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/11-0219)
History: Received August 11, 2011 , Accepted October 6, 2011
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2012, Vol. 55, 726-738. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/11-0219)
History: Received August 11, 2011; Accepted October 6, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 10

Purpose: In this study, the authors (a) investigated whether a group of people with severe aphasia could learn a vocabulary of pantomime gestures through therapy and (b) compared their learning of gestures with their learning of words. The authors also examined whether gesture therapy cued word production and whether naming therapy cued gestures.

Method: Fourteen people with severe aphasia received 15 hr of gesture and naming treatments. Evaluations comprised repeated measures of gesture and word production, comparing treated and untreated items.

Results: Baseline measures were stable but improved significantly following therapy. Across the group, improvements in naming were greater than improvements in gesture. This trend was evident in most individuals' results, although 3 participants made better progress in gesture. Gains were item specific, and there was no evidence of cross-modality cueing. Items that received gesture therapy did not improve in naming, and items that received naming therapy did not improve in gesture.

Conclusions: Results show that people with severe aphasia can respond to gesture and naming therapies. Given the unequal gains, naming may be a more productive therapy target than gesture for many (although not all) individuals with severe aphasia. The communicative benefits of therapy were not examined but are addressed in a follow-up article.

Acknowledgments
This study was funded by Stroke Association Grant TSA 2006/4. We thank our participants, their partners, and our healthy control participants. Members of Bury Speakeasy served on our advisory group, led by Gill Pearl. We thank Carol Sacchett and members of the adult speech and language therapy teams at Whipps Cross University Hospital (London, England) and Ealing Primary Care Trust, who gave us feedback on our therapy manual. Many members of our student body supported this study, for example, by scoring the gesture data and trialing our therapy manual. Andrew Ford helped to create the project website.
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