A comparison of remote therapy, face to face therapy and an attention control intervention for people with aphasia: A quasi-randomised controlled feasibility study

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Woolf, C. ; Caute, A. ; Haigh, Z. ; Galliers, J. R. ; Wilson, S. ; Kessie, A. ; Hirani, S. P. ; Hegarty, B. ; Marshall, J. (2016)

Objective: To test the feasibility of a Randomised Controlled Trial comparing face to face and remotely delivered word finding therapy for people with aphasia \ud \ud Design: A quasi-randomised controlled feasibility study comparing remote therapy delivered from a University lab, remote therapy delivered from a clinical site, face to face therapy and an attention control condition\ud \ud Setting: A University lab and NHS outpatient service \ud \ud Participants: Twenty-one people with aphasia following left hemisphere stroke \ud \ud Interventions: Eight sessions of word finding therapy, delivered either face to face or remotely, were compared to an attention control condition comprising eight sessions of remotely delivered supported conversation. The remote conditions used mainstream video conferencing technology.\ud \ud Outcome measures: Feasibility was assessed by recruitment and attrition rates, participant observations and interviews, and treatment fidelity checking. Effects of therapy on word retrieval were assessed by tests of picture naming and naming in conversation.\ud \ud Results: Twenty-one participants were recruited over 17 months, with one lost at baseline. Compliance and satisfaction with the intervention was good. Treatment fidelity was high for both remote and face to face delivery (1251/1421 therapist behaviours were compliant with the protocol). Participants who received therapy improved on picture naming significantly more than controls (mean numerical gains: 20.2 (remote from University); 41 (remote from clinical site); 30.8 (face to face); 5.8 (attention control); p <.001). There were no significant differences between groups in the assessment of conversation.\ud \ud Conclusions: Word finding therapy can be delivered via mainstream internet video conferencing. Therapy improved picture naming, but not naming in conversation.
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