Syntactic versus lexical therapy for anomia in acquired aphasia: Differential effects on narrative and conversation

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Herbert, R. ; Gregory, E. ; Best, W. (2014)
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Subject: aphasia, anomia, syntax, generalization, conversation

Background: Previous studies of therapy for acquired anomia have treated nouns in isolation. The effect on nouns in connected speech remains unclear. In a recent study in 2012, we used a novel noun syntax therapy and found an increase in the number of determiner plus noun constructions in narrative after therapy.\ud \ud Aims: Two aims arose from the previous study: to identify the critical ingredient in the noun syntax therapy, specifically whether this is lexical production, or the syntactic context; and to extend the analysis of the effects beyond narrative into conversation.\ud \ud Methods & Procedures: We compared the effects of lexical therapy with those of noun syntax therapy in one individual with aphasia, in a sequential intervention design. We analysed the effects on conversation and on narrative.\ud \ud Outcomes & Results: There was improved picture naming of treated words after both therapies. Lexical therapy had no impact on narrative and conversation, whereas noun syntax therapy led to more noun production, primarily in the context of determiner plus noun combinations.\ud \ud Conclusions & Implications: The results support the claim that greater impact on narrative and conversation can be achieved for some people with aphasia by treating nouns in syntactic contexts.
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