Research Article  |   May 2011
Effect of Verb Network Strengthening Treatment in Moderate-to-Severe Aphasia
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lisa A. Edmonds
    The University of Florida, Gainesville
  • Michelle Babb
    The University of Florida, Gainesville
  • Correspondence to Lisa A. Edmonds: edmonds@ufl.edu
  • Editor: Laura Justice
    Editor: Laura Justice×
  • Associate Editor: Michelle Bourgeois
    Associate Editor: Michelle Bourgeois×
  • © 2011 American Speech-Language-Hearing AssociationAmerican Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Aphasia / Research Article
Research Article   |   May 2011
Effect of Verb Network Strengthening Treatment in Moderate-to-Severe Aphasia
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2011, Vol. 20, 131-145. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2011/10-0036)
History: Received April 26, 2010 , Revised September 8, 2010 , Accepted February 25, 2011
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2011, Vol. 20, 131-145. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2011/10-0036)
History: Received April 26, 2010; Revised September 8, 2010; Accepted February 25, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 6

Purpose: This Phase II treatment study examined the effect of Verb Network Strengthening Treatment (VNeST) on individuals with moderate-to-severe aphasia. Research questions addressed (a) pre- to posttreatment changes and pretreatment to treatment phase changes on probe sentences containing trained verbs (e.g., “The carpenter is measuring the stairs”) and semantically related untrained verbs (e.g., “The nurse is weighing the baby”); (b) lexical retrieval changes in single-word naming, sentence, and discourse measures; (c) functional communication by way of proxy and participant report; and (d) error evolution.

Method: A multiple-baseline approach across participants was used. Effect sizes were calculated for pre- and posttreatment and maintenance probe responses. A C statistic was used to determine changes from the baseline to treatment phases.

Results: One participant exhibited improvement on all generalization measures, whereas the other participant exhibited more limited generalization. Both participants showed improvement on the functional communication measure.

Conclusions: As predicted, the participants did not show the same extent of improvement that was observed in participants with more moderate aphasia (Edmonds, Nadeu, & Kiran, 2009). Nonetheless, the findings suggest that VNeST may be appropriate for persons with moderate-to-severe aphasia, especially with a small adaptation to the treatment protocol that will be retained for future iterations of VNeST.

Acknowledgments
We would like to thank the research participants and their families for their enthusiasm and motivation throughout the treatment process. We would also like to extend our thanks to the following students in the University of Florida Aphasia and Bilingualism Lab who assisted with this study: Liz Owens, Amanda Napolitano, and Megan Ferguson. Finally, we would like to thank Will Hula for helpful discussions regarding statistical analysis.
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