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Kate Brownstein and Kimberly Hacker, Marie R. Kerins, Ed.D.

Individual versus Individual and Group Aphasia Therapy: Impact on Conversation Initiation

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Many areas of language are affected in individuals with aphasia. Social interaction, specifically conversation, appears to be a leading factor of social isolation and exclusion in individuals with aphasia (Vickers, 2010). There has been a strong research base to support the use of social groups in addition to individual therapy in the treatment of aphasia. Data shows that individuals who participate in group therapy were more likely to partake in conversation both in and outside of therapy (Ross, Winslow, & Marchant, Brumfitt, 2006). Since individuals with aphasia are socially isolated, encouraging them to initiate and participate in conversation may help increase participation in everyday social activities and therefore improve their overall quality of life. In this study, adult patients one to two years post stroke presenting with moderate non-fluent aphasia will be assigned to either an individual session or a group and individual session to determine if the initiation of conversation improves. Improvement of initiating conversation will be measured by pre and post therapy surveys (Conversational Analysis Profile for People with Aphasia (CAPPA)) given to both the individual with aphasia and the primary caregiver/spouse in order to determine the effectiveness of supplementary group therapy vs. individual therapy alone.

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