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Evaluation of the Effects of Response Elaboration Training for Aphasia

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
VA Office of Research and Development Identifier:
First received: July 27, 2005
Last updated: April 4, 2014
Last verified: April 2014
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of Response Elaboration Training (RET), which is a speech/language therapy for aphasia. The study is designed to determine whether verbal language production improves in terms of content and length of utterances as a result of treatment.

Condition Intervention
Aphasia Language Disorders Speech Disorders Behavioral: Response Elaboration Training

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Non-Randomized
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Evaluation of the Effects of Response Elaboration Training for Aphasia

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by VA Office of Research and Development:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • verbal production of meaningful content words in connected speech [ Time Frame: 3 and 6 weeks following completion of treatment ]
    Participants were asked to describe pictured scenes and to provide a monologue on a topic of their choice. Their speech/language was audio recorded during these tasks and recordings were transcribed by project speech/language pathologists. Counts of content words were made.

Enrollment: 47
Study Start Date: December 2004
Study Completion Date: December 2012
Primary Completion Date: December 2007 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Arm 1
Single subject design - participant receives three administrations of the same treatment
Behavioral: Response Elaboration Training
Therapist modeling, reinforcement and forward-chaining are used to stimulate verbal descriptions of pictures

Detailed Description:

Detailed Description:

Extended description of the protocol, including information not already contained in other fields, such as comparison(s) studied.


Sudden out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OOH-CA) remains a significant cause of death, in spite of recent declines in overall mortality from cardiovascular disease. Existing methods of emergency resuscitation are inadequate due to time delays inherent in the transport of a trained responder with defibrillation capabilities to the side of the OOH-CA victim. Existing Emergency Medical Services (EMS) systems typically combine paramedic Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) services with some level of community involvement, such as bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training. Some communities include automated external defibrillators (AEDs) at isolated sites or in mobile police or fire vehicles. A comprehensive, integrated community approach to treatment with AEDs would have community units served by these volunteer non-medical responders who can quickly identify and treat a patient with OOH-CA. Such an approach is termed Public Access Defibrillation (PAD).

Comparison(s): Community units trained and equipped to provide public access defibrillation in addition to optimal standard care, compared to community units trained to provide optimal standard care (recognition of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, 911 access, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation).

The purpose of the proposed research is to thoroughly evaluate the effects of Response Elaboration Training (RET) with persons with aphasia. Specifically, the proposed research investigation is designed to delineate the outcomes that may be expected with RET. The study is also designed to improve outcomes in the area of stimulus generalization effects of treatment by testing a modification of RET designed to facilitate generalization. The specific experimental questions to be addressed are as follows:

  • Will RET result in increased production of correct information units and increased length and changes in composition of utterances as measured in *trained and untrained picture descriptions; *story retells; *conversations with significant others/family members/friends; and *personal recounts?
  • Will modification and extension of RET to additional training contexts result in further increases in production of CIUs and increased length and complexity of utterances?
  • Will the effects* of RET vary among participants with fluent aphasia, participants with nonfluent aphasia who present with mild to moderate verbal production deficits, and participants with nonfluent aphasia who present with severe verbal production deficits?

    * Effects = effects on production of CIUs and on measures of functional communication

  • Will changes in measures of functional communication be observed following administration of RET?

A series of single-subject experimental designs across subjects, behaviors, and contexts will be conducted to address these questions. Twenty-four adults with chronic, moderate to severe aphasia secondary to unilateral, left-hemisphere brain-injury will serve as participants for this investigation.


Ages Eligible for Study:   21 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Diagnosis of moderate to severe nonfluent or fluent aphasia
  • Nonverbal intelligence within normal limits
  • Auditory and visual acuity adequate for experimental tasks
  • 6 months post-onset of single, focal brain injury (e.g., stroke)

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Previous history of therapy with RET
  • Diagnosed psychological disorder other than depression
  • Neurological condition other than that which resulted in aphasia
  • History of alcohol or substance abuse
  • Non-native English speaker
  • Premorbid history of speech/language disorder
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00125216

United States, Utah
VA Salt Lake City Health Care System, Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States, 84148
Sponsors and Collaborators
VA Office of Research and Development
Principal Investigator: Julie L. Wambaugh, PhD VA Salt Lake City Health Care System, Salt Lake City
  More Information

Responsible Party: VA Office of Research and Development Identifier: NCT00125216     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: C3719-R
Study First Received: July 27, 2005
Last Updated: April 4, 2014

Keywords provided by VA Office of Research and Development:
Language Therapy
Rehabilitation of speech and language disorders
Speech-language pathology

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Speech Disorders
Language Disorders
Pathologic Processes
Communication Disorders
Neurobehavioral Manifestations
Neurologic Manifestations
Nervous System Diseases
Signs and Symptoms processed this record on September 21, 2017