Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)

Department

Speech-Language Pathology

First Advisor

Larry Boles

First Committee Member

Jeannene Ward-Lonergan

Second Committee Member

Michael Susca

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to contribute to the understanding of the effects of aphasia couples therapy (ACT) in a person with conduction aphasia. ACT is a social therapeutic approach that involves facilitating conversations between the person with aphasia (PWA) and their spouse, or caregiver. The participants in this study involved one pair. The dependent variables included conveyance of main concepts, use of intentional gestures, reflections and summary statements per conversation. Miscellaneous measures were also counted and analyzed including the PWA’s frequency of paraphasias, fillers (e.g. um, uh), and disfluencies. Baseline sessions involved the PWA watching a video clip, and then providing a verbal summary of the main concept of the clip to his non-aphasic spouse within a 10-minute conversation. Therapy treatment sessions followed the same format as the baseline sessions, however, therapy sessions also included the aide of the researcher to coach the participants to use their pre-selected communication strategies to improve the balance in their conversations. The ability to accurately convey the main concept of a video clip in conversation served as the primary dependent variable in this study. Follow-up sessions were also conducted in similar fashion to baseline and probe sessions to determine maintenance and validity of results by dividing the total number of main concepts by the total number of utterances per conversation. Furthermore, ratings of the PWA’s quality of life and confidence in his ability to communicate were gathered and compared. The results of this study indicated that ACT yielded improved effects for the couple with regards to the communication of main concepts per conversation. A decrease in the use of all included miscellaneous measures were also observed. However, no significant changes were noted with regards to use of intentional gestures, reflections, and summary statements.

Pages

47

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