Assessing the benefits of multimodal rehabilitation therapy for aphasia

  • Jennifer Thomson

    Student thesis: Unknown


    AbstractThe University of Manchester Jennifer Thomson MPhil Assessing the benefits of multimodal rehabilitation therapy for aphasia 2013Background: In Parallel Distributed Processing (PDP), large numbers of processing units, which perform simple calculations, can be employed to solve complex problems. PDP modelling suggests that efficiency on complex task may be critically related to the economy of the representations that support the tasks. This observation is likely to be crucial is language, where a number of related linguistic tasks may be supported by the same set of representations. This clinical study examines whether elicitation of a word in multiple modalities maximises the degree of relearning.Aims: (1) to determine the relative effects upon naming of an multimodal Item Focused (IF) therapy compared to a unimodal Task Focused (TF) therapy immediately after therapy and at follow-up; (2) to examine the effects of the IF and TF therapies on non-targeted language tasks. Methods & Procedures: 8 English speakers with aphasia at least 6 months post-stroke, with word-finding difficulties were recruited. A crossover design was employed with therapy provided in 2 x 2 week blocks (10 x 60 minute daily sessions). Outcomes & Results: Both therapies improved the naming abilities of all participants in the short-term, and with maintenance effects for 5 of the 6 participants.Conclusions: The results validate providing impairment based naming therapy for those with a range of deficits at different time points in recovery. Despite results being limited by the power of the study, they are promising enough to warrant continued investigation into Item Focused therapy promoting greater Representational Economy.
    Date of Award1 Aug 2013
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • The University of Manchester
    SupervisorStephen Welbourne (Supervisor) & Karen Sage (Supervisor)


    • multimodal
    • PDP computational modelling
    • aphasia therapy

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