Using Virtual Technology to Promote Functional Communication in Aphasia: Preliminary Evidence From Interactive Dialogues With Human and Virtual Clinicians Purpose We investigated the feasibility of using a virtual clinician (VC) to promote functional communication abilities of persons with aphasia (PWAs). We aimed to determine whether the quantity and quality of verbal output in dialogues with a VC would be the same or greater than those with a human clinician ... Supplement Article
Supplement Article  |   November 01, 2015
Using Virtual Technology to Promote Functional Communication in Aphasia: Preliminary Evidence From Interactive Dialogues With Human and Virtual Clinicians
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Michelene Kalinyak-Fliszar
    Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Nadine Martin
    Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Emily Keshner
    Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Alex Rudnicky
    Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Justin Shi
    Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Gregory Teodoro
    Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Michelene Kalinyak-Fliszar: kalinyak@temple.edu
  • Editor: Anastasia Raymer
    Editor: Anastasia Raymer×
  • Associate Editor: Mary Purdy
    Associate Editor: Mary Purdy×
Article Information
Language Disorders / Aphasia / Supplement: Select Papers From the 44th Clinical Aphasiology Conference
Supplement Article   |   November 01, 2015
Using Virtual Technology to Promote Functional Communication in Aphasia: Preliminary Evidence From Interactive Dialogues With Human and Virtual Clinicians
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2015, Vol. 24, S974-S989. doi:10.1044/2015_AJSLP-14-0160
History: Received September 16, 2014 , Revised February 27, 2015 , Accepted July 9, 2015
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2015, Vol. 24, S974-S989. doi:10.1044/2015_AJSLP-14-0160
History: Received September 16, 2014; Revised February 27, 2015; Accepted July 9, 2015
Web of Science® Times Cited: 2

Purpose We investigated the feasibility of using a virtual clinician (VC) to promote functional communication abilities of persons with aphasia (PWAs). We aimed to determine whether the quantity and quality of verbal output in dialogues with a VC would be the same or greater than those with a human clinician (HC).

Method Four PWAs practiced dialogues for 2 sessions each with a HC and VC. Dialogues from before and after practice were transcribed and analyzed for content. We compared measures taken before and after practice in the VC and HC conditions.

Results Results were mixed. Participants either produced more verbal output with the VC or showed no difference on this measure between the VC and HC conditions. Participants also showed some improvement in postpractice narratives.

Conclusion Results provide support for the feasibility and applicability of virtual technology to real-life communication contexts to improve functional communication in PWAs.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (DC 012245) awarded to Temple University (PIs: Nadine Martin, Emily Keshner). We would like to thank the coordinated efforts of our research team, without whose expertise in the fields of virtual environments, computer science, communication sciences and disorders, and neuroscience this project would not have been possible. We would like to thank Samantha Waldman-Rosenberg, Thomas Seminack, Julie Schlesinger, Lydia Spanier, Amelia Wisniewski-Barker, Katlyn Yackoski, and Julia Zabihach for their assistance with data analysis and preparation of this article. A special thank you to EH, CM, CN, and DC, who cheerfully participated in a unique application of a functional approach to aphasia rehabilitation.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access