Background: Aphasia is an acquired language disorder that makes it difficult for people to produce and comprehend language, with all people with aphasia (PWA) demonstrating difficulty accessing and selecting words (anomia). While aphasia treatments typically focus on a single aspect of language, such as word retrieval, the ultimate goal of aphasia therapy is to improve communication, which is best seen at the level of discourse.
Aims: This retrospective study investigated the effects of one effective anomia therapy, Phonomotor Treatment (PMT), on discourse production.
Methods & Procedures: Twenty-six PWA participated in 60 h of PMT, which focuses on building a person’s ability to recognize, produce, and manipulate phonemes in progressively longer nonword and real-word contexts. Language samples were collected prior to, immediately after, and 3 months after the treatment program. Percent Correct Information Units (CIUs) and CIUs per minute were calculated.
Outcomes & Results: Overall, PWA showed significantly improved CIUs per minute, relative to baseline, immediately after treatment and 3 months later, as well as significantly improved percent CIUs, relative to baseline, 3 months following treatment.
Conclusions: PMT, which focuses on phonological processing, can lead to widespread improvement throughout the language system, including to the functionally critical level of discourse production.
Silkes, J. P., Fergadiotis, G., Hunting Pompon, R., Torrence, J., & Kendall, D. L. (2019). Effects of phonomotor treatment on discourse production. Aphasiology, 33(2), 125–139. https://doi.org/10.1080/02687038.2018.1512080