Model based intervention for sentence production disorders in patients with aphasia
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
The thesis used a cognitive neuropsychological approach to analyse the effects of a model-based intervention on the production of sentences in people with aphasia. The thesis consisted of two studies, Study 1 and Study 1A. Study 1 examined the effect of three intervention modules designed on the basis of GEM, on production of sentences in people with aphasia. Specifically, Study 1 analysed the responses of the participants to the experimental intervention by evaluating the change in the production of trained stimuli, untrained stimuli and spontaneous speech. Study 1 examined the relationship between verb retrieval and sentence production. Stimuli included verbs and nouns at three linguistic levels: word level, affix level and sentence level. Two of the six participants showed a significant improvement in the production of trained items, one in the production of verbs and the other in the production of nouns at the three levels of intervention. A consistent relationship between verb retrieval and sentence production was not found. Generalisation to spontaneous speech in terms of an improvement in the number of nouns and verbs produced was seen in two of the six participants. Study 1A examined the effect on production of sentences of a verb argument module that involved presentation of a verb and its arguments. Three of the four participants showed a significant improvement in the production of sentences after the verb argument module. The performance patterns of the participants implied that verbs plus their arguments were important but not sufficient for sentence production. The studies in this thesis suggest that, in order to be able to predict the generalisation pattern in people with aphasia, GEM requires a more detailed specification of the processes required for sentence production to be able to predict the generalisation patterns in people with aphasia. In addition, it is important to match the baseline abilities of an individual to the features of the intervention task for an intervention to be successful.