Clinical Focus  |   February 2008
Computerized Script Training for Aphasia: Preliminary Results
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Leora R. Cherney
    Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, and Northwestern University, Chicago
  • Anita S. Halper
    Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, and Northwestern University, Chicago
  • Audrey L. Holland
    University of Arizona, Tucson
  • Ron Cole
    Mentor Interactive, Boulder, CO, and Boulder Language Technologies, Boulder
  • Contact author: Leora R. Cherney, Center for Aphasia Research, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, 345 East Superior Street, Chicago, IL 60611. E-mail: lcherney@ric.org.
Language Disorders / Aphasia / Clinical Focus
Clinical Focus   |   February 2008
Computerized Script Training for Aphasia: Preliminary Results
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology February 2008, Vol.17, 19-34. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2008/003)
History: Accepted 02 Aug 2007 , Received 23 Mar 2007 , Revised 02 Jul 2007
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology February 2008, Vol.17, 19-34. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2008/003)
History: Accepted 02 Aug 2007 , Received 23 Mar 2007 , Revised 02 Jul 2007

Purpose: This article describes computer software that was developed specifically for training conversational scripts and illustrates its use with 3 individuals with aphasia.

Method: Three participants with chronic aphasia (Broca’s, Wernicke’s, and anomic) were assessed before and after 9 weeks of a computer script training program. For each participant, 3 individualized scripts were developed, recorded on the software, and practiced sequentially at home. Weekly meetings with the speech-language pathologist occurred to monitor practice and assess progress. Baseline and posttreatment scripts were audiotaped, transcribed, and compared to the target scripts for content, grammatical productivity, and rate of production of script-related words. Interviews with the person with aphasia and his or her significant other were conducted at the conclusion of treatment.

Results: All measures (content, grammatical productivity, and rate of production of script-related words) improved for each participant on every script. Two participants gained more than 5 points on the Aphasia Quotient of the Western Aphasia Battery. Five positive themes were consistently identified from the exit interviews—increased verbal communication, improvements in other modalities and situations, communication changes noticed by others, increased confidence, and satisfaction with the software.

Conclusion: Computer-based script training potentially may be an effective intervention for persons with chronic aphasia.

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