A Life Participation Approach to Primary Progressive Aphasia Intervention

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Abstract

Primary progressive aphasia (PPA) is a clinical neurodegenerative dementia syndrome characterized by deficits in spoken and written word retrieval, word usage, and/or word comprehension. Currently, there are no effective treatments to reverse or halt the underlying disease process; however, speech-language therapy may be helpful. The Communication Bridge Care Model was developed to address the unique communication and quality of life needs of individuals living with PPA. The core elements include person-centered care with dyadic instruction for disease education, and counseling, along with tailored levels of impairment- and compensatory-based communication strategy training. Our multicomponent approach incorporates guidance from the Life Participation Approach for Aphasia, including client-directed assessment and interventions that aim to maximize functional communication and participation in desired life activities. The direct and indirect use of technology is integrated into our tailored model of care to facilitate achievement of the client's functional goals. Here, we describe how to practically apply the Communication Bridge Care Model across treatment settings, including case examples from the Communication Bridge research study. This approach to care provides an opportunity to maximize communication effectiveness and quality of life for individuals living with PPA throughout the course of disease.

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