Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Aphasia frustration - maybe spread-out therapy could help with recovery

It took a long time for my language skills to come back adequately - at least, under my definition of "adequately." One thing that persists over the last 17 years, though, is that when I am tired or stressed, speaking becomes harder.

So, this study makes a certain amount of sense to me - work too hard, you'll tire out. And initially, my stroke left me easily tired. This study looked at the time involved in speech therapy and recovering speech skills and found that aphasia recovery better when therapy is spread out:
Doing 6 hours per week for 8 weeks yielded significantly greater improvements on word retrieval measured with the Boston Naming Test than did 16 hours of therapy per week for 3 weeks by the end of therapy (P=0.04) and remained better 1 month later (P=0.002).
Confidence and effectiveness in communication and communication-related quality of life improved similarly in the two groups at both time points, Jade Dignam, BSpPath, of the University of Queensland, Australia, and colleagues reported online in Stroke.
While both groups were more intensive than typical clinical care that provides only about 2 hours per week, highly intensive aphasia treatment protocols have been becoming more common and more supported by clinical guidelines, the researchers noted.
Aphasia is the name for language difficulties that stroke patients often are faced with. It does not affect your intelligence - but it can create serious problems in getting those intelligent thoughts out. It was incredibly frustrating.

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