Effects of Phonomotor Therapy and Semantic Feature Analysis on Discourse Production

Published In

American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology

Document Type


Publication Date




Anomia treatments typically focus on single word retrieval, although the ultimate goal of treatment is to improve functional communication at the level of discourse in daily situations.


The focus of this study was to investigate the impact of two effective anomia treatments on discourse production as measured by a story retell task.

Method and Procedure

Fifty-seven people with aphasia were randomized to receive either a phoneme-based treatment, Phonomotor Therapy (PMT; 28 participants), or a lexical–semantic treatment, Semantic Feature Analysis (SFA; 29 participants). Groups were matched for age, aphasia severity, education, and years post onset. All received 56–60 hr of treatment in a massed treatment schedule. Therapy was delivered for a total of 8–10 hr/week over the course of 6–7 weeks. All participants completed testing 1 week prior to treatment (A1), immediately following treatment (A2), and again 3 months later (A3). Discourse was analyzed through the percentage of correct information units at each time point.

Outcomes and Results

Both groups showed nonsignificant improvements from pretreatment to immediately posttreatment. The PMT group showed significant improvement 3 months posttreatment, while the SFA group returned to near-baseline levels.


These results add to our understanding of the effects of both PMT and SFA. Future research should address understanding variability in discourse outcomes across studies and the effects of aphasia severity and individual participant and treatment factors on treatment outcomes for both of these approaches.


Copyright © 2020 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association



Persistent Identifier