Group Communication Treatment for Individuals with PPA and Their Partners
Seminars in Speech and Language
Primary progressive aphasia (PPA) is a neurodegenerative syndrome characterized by insidious language deterioration. This young-onset disorder leaves adults with reduced communication skills for participation in social activities. There is limited evidence regarding group treatment for individuals with PPA, though the principles of chronic aphasia groups can be applied to this clinical population. We developed a PPA group treatment model incorporating compensatory strategies from augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), communication partner training from aphasia rehabilitation, and systematic instruction from dementia management. Six modules were designed and delivered to people with PPA and their communication partners in a university clinic setting over a 6-week period. Treatment was provided by graduate clinicians with supervision from a certified speech–language pathologist and faculty member. Primary treatment goals were to provide education about PPA symptoms and progression; to increase practice and use of multimodal communication by people with PPA; and to establish an environment where people with PPA and their partners could connect for training and support. We present pre/post comparisons and satisfaction data provided by five individuals with PPA and their partners in the group. Results suggest that group training is an effective service delivery model. Participants reported gains in both knowledge about PPA and in using many different modalities to communicate. The new compensatory strategies learned provide tools for maintenance and improvement of language use. Participants saw increased confidence and participation in daily activities, and highlighted the value of the PPA group for individuals with this relatively rare condition and their family members.
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Mooney, A., Beale, N., & Fried-Oken, M. (2018, July). Group Communication Treatment for Individuals with PPA and Their Partners. In Seminars in speech and language (Vol. 39, No. 03, pp. 257-269). Thieme Medical Publishers.