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Word-Retrieval Treatment for Aphasia: Semantic Feature Analysis

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00125242
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : July 29, 2005
Results First Posted : December 24, 2014
Last Update Posted : December 24, 2014
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
VA Office of Research and Development ( US Department of Veterans Affairs )

Brief Summary:
The purpose of this investigation is to further develop and test a treatment for word-finding problems in aphasia. The treatment is designed to strengthen meaning associations within categories of words (e.g., animals, tools, fruits). The treatment is also designed to be used as a search strategy in instances of word-finding difficulty. The study was devised to evaluate the extent to which treatment increases the ability to recall trained, as well as untrained, words.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Aphasia Language Disorders Speech Disorders Behavioral: Semantic Feature Analysis (SFA)Training Not Applicable

Detailed Description:

The purpose of the proposed research is to examine the effects of a semantically-oriented treatment on word retrieval in persons with aphasia. The planned investigations are designed to further the development of semantic feature training so that it may serve as not only a mechanism for improving disrupted lexical semantic processing, but also as a compensatory strategy during word retrieval failures. The proposed research will also address the issue of exemplar typicality (Kiran & Thompson, 2003) by examining the effects of training typical versus atypical exemplars of various categories with individuals with different types of aphasia. A series of 24 single subject experimental designs will be conducted in the context of a group design to address the following experimental questions:

  • Will training atypical examples of living and artifact noun categories using semantic feature training result in a significantly different outcome* than training typical examples of living and artifact noun categories?
  • Will training of one category of nouns using semantic feature training result in improved retrieval of untrained categories of nouns?
  • Will effects of semantic feature training vary across aphasia types?
  • Will semantic feature training result in increased production of content during discourse?
  • Will generalization to untrained typical examples vary across generalization lists that are repeatedly exposed and those that are limited in exposure? (i.e., Does repeated exposure appear to contribute to generalization?)

    • Outcome measure will reflect acquisition, response generalization within category, and response generalization across category effects of treatment.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 110 participants
Allocation: Non-Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Word-Retrieval for Aphasia: Facilitation of Generalization
Study Start Date : July 2005
Actual Primary Completion Date : February 2009
Actual Study Completion Date : April 2013

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Aphasia

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Semantic Feature Analysis (SFA)
Word retrieval treatment for aphasia.
Behavioral: Semantic Feature Analysis (SFA)Training
SFA entails having the speech-language pathologist (SLP) guide the participant through generation of pertinent semantic features for pictured treatment items (e.g., category membership, physical description, location of item in context, personal associations, action associated with item). For some participants, treatment items were grouped according to typicality of category membership (e.g,, a robin-typical bird and penguin-atypical bird). Training of atypical items may stimulate a broader semantic activation of the category and thus, may promote greater generalization. Treatment was applied sequentially to sets of items in the context of single-subject, multiple baseline designs. In this way, replication of treatment effects could be evaluated within and across participants. Treatment was administered by certified SLPs three times per week until prescribed accuracy levels were met during nontreatment probes or a maximum number of treatment sessions was completed.

No Intervention: Participants for Stimuli Development
Non-brain-injured participants provided data for development of treatment stimuli.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Word Retrieval Accuracy [ Time Frame: End of treatment and at 6 weeks post treatment ]
    Accuracy of naming of pictured treated and untreated items was assessed in probes conducted separate from treatment. Probes were conducted repeatedly throughout the study, from baseline (prior to treatment) to follow-up (6 weeks following treatment). All naming responses were scored using a 0-10 scale reflecting promptness and presence of errors; scores of 8-10 received an "accuate" score and scores of 0-7 received an "inaccurate" score. A percentage accuracy score was calculated for each experimental set of items for every probe session. Baseline probe scores were compared to end of treatment and follow-up probe scores to obtain individual effect sizes for each experimental list of items for each participant (i.e., several effect sizes were calculated for each participant). All effect sizes were utlized to obtain an average effect size for each participant; these averages were then utlized to obtain a group average.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   21 Years to 80 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Diagnosis of Wernicke's, Broca's, or Conduction aphasia with significant word-retrieval deficits
  • At least 6 months post-onset of single, left-hemisphere stroke
  • Minimum of high-school education
  • Visual and auditory acuity sufficient for experimental tasks
  • Nonverbal intelligence within normal limits

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Diagnosed mental illness 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

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00125242

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United States, Utah
VA Salt Lake City Health Care System, Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States, 84148
Sponsors and Collaborators
US Department of Veterans Affairs
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Principal Investigator: Julie L. Wambaugh, PhD VA Salt Lake City Health Care System, Salt Lake City
Publications of Results:
Wambaugh JL, Mauszycki S, Wright S. Semantic feature analysis: Application to confrontation naming of actions in aphasia. Aphasiology. 2013 Oct 28; 28(1):DOI:10.1080/02687038.2013.845739.

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Responsible Party: US Department of Veterans Affairs Identifier: NCT00125242    
Other Study ID Numbers: C3826-R
First Posted: July 29, 2005    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: December 24, 2014
Last Update Posted: December 24, 2014
Last Verified: December 2014
Keywords provided by VA Office of Research and Development ( US Department of Veterans Affairs ):
Language therapy
Rehabilitation of speech and language disorders
Speech-language pathology
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Language Disorders
Speech Disorders
Pathologic Processes
Communication Disorders
Neurobehavioral Manifestations
Neurologic Manifestations
Nervous System Diseases