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Enhancing communication through gesture and naming therapy

Caute, A., Pring, T., Cocks, N. , Cruice, M., Best, W. & Marshall, J. (2013). Enhancing communication through gesture and naming therapy. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, 56(1), pp. 337-351. doi: 10.1044/1092-4388(2012/11-0232)


Purpose: This study investigated whether gesture, naming and strategic treatment improved the communication skills of 14 people with severe aphasia.

Method: All participants received 15 hours of gesture and naming treatment (reported in a companion paper). Half the group received a further 15 hours of strategic therapy, while the remaining seven participants received no further input. The effects of therapy on communication were assessed with two novel measures. These required participants to convey simple messages and narratives to their communication partner. In both assessments a subset of the stimuli featured items that had been targets in gesture or naming treatment.

Results: Performance on the communication measures was stable over two baseline assessments, but improved after gesture and naming treatment. Those who received additional strategic therapy made further gains on the message but not the narrative task. Communication gains were not specific to the stimuli featuring trained items.

Conclusions: This study suggests that gesture and naming treatments can benefit interactive communication. The additional benefits of strategic therapy were less clear cut, but did impact on the transmission of simple messages. Gains seem to reflect the development of general communication skills, rather than the use of trained gestures and/or words.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Science & Technology, Social Sciences, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology, Linguistics, Rehabilitation, AUDIOLOGY & SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY, LINGUISTICS, REHABILITATION, SCI, REHABILITATION, SSCI, aphasia, therapy, gestural communication, VERB RETRIEVAL, LIMB APRAXIA, APHASIA, CONVERSATION, ACQUISITION, PEOPLE
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Language & Communication Science
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