Evaluating Treatment and Generalization Patterns of Two Theoretically Motivated Sentence Comprehension Therapies Purpose The current study examined treatment outcomes and generalization patterns following 2 sentence comprehension therapies: object manipulation (OM) and sentence-to-picture matching (SPM). Findings were interpreted within the framework of specific deficit and resource reduction accounts, which were extended in order to examine the nature of generalization following treatment of sentence ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2016
Evaluating Treatment and Generalization Patterns of Two Theoretically Motivated Sentence Comprehension Therapies
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Carrie A. Des Roches
    Speech and Hearing Sciences, Boston University Sargent College, MA
  • Sofia Vallila-Rohter
    Speech and Hearing Sciences, Boston University Sargent College, MA
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, MGH-Institute of Health Professions, Boston, MA
  • Sarah Villard
    Speech and Hearing Sciences, Boston University Sargent College, MA
  • Yorghos Tripodis
    Department of Biostatistics, Boston University, MA
  • David Caplan
    Speech and Hearing Sciences, Boston University Sargent College, MA
    Neuropsychology Laboratory, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
  • Swathi Kiran
    Speech and Hearing Sciences, Boston University Sargent College, MA
  • 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 Swathi Kiran: kirans@bu.edu
  • Editor: Anastasia Raymer
    Editor: Anastasia Raymer×
  • Associate Editor: Gayle DeDe
    Associate Editor: Gayle DeDe×
Article Information
Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Language Disorders / Aphasia / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Special Issue: Select Papers From the 45th Clinical Aphasiology Conference / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 2016
Evaluating Treatment and Generalization Patterns of Two Theoretically Motivated Sentence Comprehension Therapies
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, December 2016, Vol. 25, S743-S757. doi:10.1044/2016_AJSLP-15-0134
History: Received September 14, 2015 , Revised March 4, 2016 , Accepted May 2, 2016
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, December 2016, Vol. 25, S743-S757. doi:10.1044/2016_AJSLP-15-0134
History: Received September 14, 2015; Revised March 4, 2016; Accepted May 2, 2016

Purpose The current study examined treatment outcomes and generalization patterns following 2 sentence comprehension therapies: object manipulation (OM) and sentence-to-picture matching (SPM). Findings were interpreted within the framework of specific deficit and resource reduction accounts, which were extended in order to examine the nature of generalization following treatment of sentence comprehension deficits in aphasia.

Method Forty-eight individuals with aphasia were enrolled in 1 of 8 potential treatment assignments that varied by task (OM, SPM), complexity of trained sentences (complex, simple), and syntactic movement (noun phrase, wh-movement). Comprehension of trained and untrained sentences was probed before and after treatment using stimuli that differed from the treatment stimuli.

Results Linear mixed-model analyses demonstrated that, although both OM and SPM treatments were effective, OM resulted in greater improvement than SPM. Analyses of covariance revealed main effects of complexity in generalization; generalization from complex to simple linguistically related sentences was observed both across task and across movement.

Conclusions Results are consistent with the complexity account of treatment efficacy, as generalization effects were consistently observed from complex to simpler structures. Furthermore, results provide support for resource reduction accounts that suggest that generalization can extend across linguistic boundaries, such as across movement type.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant 4R33DC010461. The authors thank the participants and their families and caregivers. They also thank Gloria Waters and Myrna Schwartz for their contributions and Chaleece Sandberg, Elsa Ascenso, Jason Lucas, Nadia Lonsdale, and Balaji Rangarathnam for their assistance in data collection. In addition, the authors thank Lauren Eiges, Melody Lo, Nicole Woody, Rasika Murali, Sophie Barry, and Zach Smith for their assistance at various stages of the project.
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