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The Impact of Computer-based Cognitive Treatment on Language Skills in an Individual with Aphasia Open Access


Other title
language treatment
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Malli, Caitlin L.R.
Supervisor and department
Kim, Esther (Speech Pathology and Audiology)
Examining committee member and department
Paslawski, Teresa (Speech Pathology and Audiology)
Westbury, Chris (Psychology)
Cummine, Jacqueline (Speech Pathology and Audiology
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
Speech-language pathology
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
The cognitive theory of aphasia, which purports that the language impairments found in people with aphasia are due to underlying cognitive impairments, rather than to interruption of linguistic-specific areas of the brain, has been gaining clinical and research interest in recent years. Indeed, treatments targeted towards remediating cognitive impairments have resulted in improvements in cognitive and language functioning. Further, computer-based interventions have shown promise as a means for increasing therapy intensity without increasing workloads for therapists. The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy of a commercially-available, computer-based cognitive training program (BrainFitness) as an intervention for an individual with aphasia. Following 8 weeks (approximately 40 hours) of treatment, the participant demonstrated gains in language functioning as measured by the WAB-R and certain subtests of the Alberta Language Function Assessment Battery (ALFAB). The impact of the training on cognitive functioning was less clear. The results of this study suggest computer-based cognitive training may potentially benefit people with aphasia, but continued research is warranted. This type of treatment is not expected to replace therapy with speech-language pathologists, but to supplement the therapy already available to increase intensity of treatment without increasing workload for therapists. Examining a model addressing the neural connections underlying improvements resulting from auditory-based cognitive treatment may explain the mechanisms of recovery and the aspects of cognitive computer training that are most beneficial to recovery.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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