The novel language-systematic aphasia screening SAPS: Screening-based therapy in combination with computerised home-training

Franziska Krzok, Verena Rieger, Katharina Niemann, Ruth Nobis-Bosch, Irmgard Radermacher, Walter Huber, Klaus Willmes, Steffie Abel

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Background SAPS—‘Sprachsystematisches Aphasiescreening’—is a novel language-systematic aphasia screening developed for the German language, which already had been positively evaluated. It offers a fast assessment of modality-specific psycholinguistic components at different levels of complexity and the derivation of impairment-based treatment foci from the individual performance profile. However, SAPS has not yet been evaluated in combination with the new SAPS-based treatment. Aims To replicate the practicality of SAPS and to investigate the effectiveness of a SAPS-based face-to-face therapy combined with computerised home training in a feasibility study. To examine the soundness of the treatment design, to determine treatment-induced changes in patient performance as measured by SAPS, to assess parallel changes in communicative abilities, and to differentiate therapy effects achieved by face-to-face therapy versus add-on effects achieved by later home training. Methods & Procedures Sixteen participants with post-stroke aphasia (PWAs) were included into the study. They were administered the SAPS and communicative testing before and after the treatment regimen. Each PWA received one therapy session followed by home training per day, with the individual treatment foci being determined according to initial SAPS profile, and duration of treatment and possible change of focus dependent on performance assessed by continuous therapy monitoring. Outcomes & Results The combination of therapy and home training based on the SAPS was effective for all participants. We showed significant improvements for impairment-based SAPS performance and, with high inter-individual variability, in everyday communication. These two main targets of speech and language therapy were correlated and SAPS improvements after therapy were significantly higher than after home training. Conclusions & Implications SAPS offers the assessment of an individual performance profile in order to derive sufficiently diversified, well-founded and specific treatment foci and to follow up changes in performance. The appending treatment regimen has shown to be effective for our participants. Thus, the study revealed feasibility of our approach.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Language and Communication Disorders
Early online date8 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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