Abstract WP174: Intensive Phonology Treatment Promotes Recovery in Reading in Chronic Aphasia Post Stroke

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Therapies specifically targeting naming deficits are common because these deficits remain one of the most common and pervasive deficits seen in post-stroke aphasia (Goodglass & Wingfield, 1997). Past studies have used single lexical item retrieval (Nickels, 2002) as the framework for both semantic and phonological treatment. The efficacy of this technique is unclear when applied to reading, writing, and lexical retrieval deficits (Boyle, 2004a, 2004b; Coelho, McHugh, & Boyle, 2000). This study aimed to resolve these issues by implementing an easy to replicate design with a randomized control trial.12 subjects enrolled in intensive speech therapy at Austin Speech Labs were selected for the study. They were randomly assigned to a Semantic (ST) (n=6) or phonological treatment (PT) (n=6) group. Subjects received comprehensive pre and post-testing using the Western Aphasia Battery-Revised (WAB-R), Boston Naming Test (BNT). The subject’s phonological awareness was assessed using subtests of Psycholinguistic Assessment of Language Processing in Aphasia (PALPA).Each participant attended three hours of therapy for a total of 40 hours of therapy.PT: The first eight weeks focused on mastering individual consonants and vowels and blending sounds to read single words. The second 8-week module focused on training consonants clusters, and spelling.ST: The first and second module focused on describing object attributes to aid reading, naming, and writing.An independent T-test (p-value of .05) was used to examine significant differences found in the post-test scores between each group. A paired t-test (p-value=. 05) was run to determine significant differences in pre and post-test scores across both treatment groups. The majority ofparticipants showed increases between pre and post-testing in all subtests. The phonology group showed significant increases in letter length spelling, letter sounding, spoken and written letter matching, and syllable length reading PALPA subtests. The Semantic group showed significant increases in the WAB verbal commands and repetition subtests as well as the PALPA and spoken and written letter matching subtest.Conclusion: Phonology focused treatment appears to be beneficial despite differences in underlying impairments.

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