Extent of improvement on standardized language tests of aphasia after language therapy
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Previous aphasia studies have indicated that treatment is effective. Research has demonstrated that treatment is effective in minimizing the effects of aphasia, a language impairment resulting from dominant hemisphere brain damage. However, meta-analysis is needed to indicate to what extent standardized tests of language change after receiving aphasia therapy. Assessing the extent change made on standardized tests of language after aphasia therapy will provide answers to whether aspects of language and/or if overall language improves after therapy. Aims: The aim of the present study was to address three separate research questions: (1) Is treatment of naming, reading, and writing therapy in aphasia effective? (2) If there are gains in therapy, what factors influence the gain? (3) To what extent do subjects’ standardized test scores increase after receiving aphasia therapy? Methods and procedures: Eighteen subjects with aphasia who participated in six different treatment studies (naming, reading and writing) were selected for a three part meta-analysis. The first analysis assessed if treatment was effective. The second analysis determined which factors influenced gains in treatment. In the third analysis, partial correlations were conducted to determine the extent of improvement subjects receive after aphasia therapy. Outcomes and Results: Results indicated that treatment is effective as demonstrated by significant gains for both trained and untrained treatment scores; the amount of therapy was significantly related to gains in trained item scores; and generalization and sessions were significantly related to gains made in untrained scores in treatment. However, age and Initial Western Aphasia Battery tests scores (an indicator of aphasia severity) were not significantly related to gains made in treatment. Several significant partial correlations were found between scores in treatment and scores on standardized tests of language. Results indicated that scores on standardized tests of language increased after subjects received aphasia therapy. Several partial correlations were found between treatment scores and scores on standardized tests of language. Conclusions: The results of the meta-analysis support previous aphasia therapy studies indicating that therapy is effective. The more treatment sessions subjects received, the more gains were made in therapy. Gains on the scores of standardized tests of language, improve throughout certain types (semantic or non-semantic) of aphasia therapy.