Year of Publication

2011

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Health Sciences

Department

Communication Disorders

First Advisor

Dr. Robert Marshall

Abstract

Purpose: Response Elaboration Training (RET) is a treatment program for increasing the amount of information contained in the speech of individuals with aphasia. This study employed a sentence production task (SPT) to examine whether RET will (1) generalize to a task not worked on in treatment and (2) affect syntactic performance.

Methods and Procedures: Three adults with chronic non-fluent Broca’s aphasia received RET in this prospective, repeated case study. The dependent variable was a SPT requiring the participant to put a verb in a sentence. Changes in the syntactic performance of the participant’s sentence productions were classified across three parameters: (1) syntactic structure, (2) grammatical completeness, and (3) semantic appropriateness.

Results: Findings of this study indicate that RET improves the syntactic performance of individuals with chronic Broca’s aphasia and generalizes to a task not worked on in treatment. Participant responses to the SPT showed increased complexity in syntactic structures, improved grammaticality, and improved topic relevancy. In addition, qualitative improvements were seen in 5 randomly selected verbs for each participant. These improvements included increased length of sentences and fewer false starts, interjections, and disfluencies. Finally, improvements on the Western Aphasia Battery and two picture description tasks were evinced for two participants.

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