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.
  • © 2008 American Speech-Language-Hearing AssociationAmerican Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
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: Received March 23, 2007 , Revised July 2, 2007 , Accepted August 2, 2007
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2008, Vol. 17, 19-34. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2008/003)
History: Received March 23, 2007; Revised July 2, 2007; Accepted August 2, 2007
Web of Science® Times Cited: 37

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.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by Grant H133B031127 from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, U.S. Department of Education. AphasiaScripts is a trademark of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. None of the authors have a financial interest in the software product. We want to thank Edie Babbitt, Rosalind Hurwitz, and Jaime Lee, speech-language pathologists in the Center for Aphasia Research at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, for their assistance with testing, script development, and computer training of the participants with aphasia. Special thanks to Sarel Van Vuuren and Nattawut Ngampatipatpong at the Center for Spoken Language Research, University of Colorado at Boulder, for developing the computer software for script training and their technical support.
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