Efficacy of using music therapy combined with traditional aphasia and apraxia of speech treatments

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Debra Jean Aitken Dunham (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site: http://library.wcu.edu/
K. Leigh Morrow-Odom

Abstract: The literature suggests that music therapy is effective in the treatment of aphasia and apraxia of speech (AOS) (Beathard & Krout, 2008; Robey, 1998). To date, no studies have been conducted to determine if traditional speech-language therapy combined with music therapy leads to a more successful treatment outcome than traditional approaches alone. The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of utilizing music therapy in addition to traditional speech-language treatment in persons with chronic, stroke-induced aphasia and concomitant AOS. Using alternating treatment, single-subject design, two persons with acquired aphasia and AOS following a single stroke participated in weekly speech-language therapy three times a week for nine weeks to target expressive speech and language. Traditional treatment approaches included Cueing Hierarchy to improve overt naming of selected targets and the Eight-Step Task Continuum to improve speech sound production. The music therapy protocol followed the protocol established by Kim and Tomaino (2008), and included singing, breathing, oral-motor, and intonation exercises. The data collected included rate of acquisition of targets during each treatment block and retention of targets at three- and six-weeks following the end of each treatment block. These data suggest that both participants demonstrated improved speech production and oral naming skills following both treatment approaches. Further, both participants demonstrated improvements on standardized assessments. These data further suggest that not only do both participants demonstrate the greatest treatment effects following the traditional treatment combined with music therapy but also that these treatment effects continued after the music therapy component was removed from treatment.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2010
Aphasia -- Treatment
Apraxia -- Treatment
Speech therapy
Music therapy -- Research
Speech therapy -- Research

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