Evidence Based Intervention for Primary Progressive Aphasia

  • Author / Creator
    Dixon, Gillian E
  • Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA) is a neurodegenerative syndrome that initially affects language while other aspects of cognition remain relatively spared. Although the symptoms of PPA become progressively worse, speech-language pathologists can provide behavioral interventions that help the affected individual communicate. The purpose of this study was to investigate treatment outcomes of two types of approaches – impairment-based and compensatory – in teaching an individual with PPA specific words and conversational skills. The study was conducted in two phases. A single-subject experimental design was used to examine outcomes associated with treatment in both phases. The first phase of the study involved implementation of a cueing technique (impairment- based approach) to improve the participant’s word-finding ability. In the second phase, a communication wallet was designed to facilitate the participant’s functional conversational abilities when talking about three topics: family, hobbies, and weekly schedule. Results were mixed. In the first phase, no significant treatment outcomes were observed. In the second phase, the participant demonstrated a modest increase in the number of relevant statements made when discussing the topics using the communication wallet. Clinically, the results highlight the need to begin treatment early in the progression of PPA to achieve optimal outcomes, and to use multiple measures of outcome to assess therapy benefits beyond impairment based outcomes.

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  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
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    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.