Communication is the transmission of information from one entity to another through the use of mutually understood language, signs, & symbols. When talking about communication disorders, Anomia is the most common among them. It is defined as, the difficulty in finding the right words in communication at the right time. It occurs as a manifestation of aphasia i.e an acquired language disorder followed by any kind of brain injury. Aphasia leads to difficulty in the production and comprehension of language, thus compromising the communication skills of a person.
Although brain injury causes this disorder, stroke is also responsible for it. According to an estimation, among every three people suffering from cerebrovascular diseases, one suffers from aphasia. The prognosis of anomia depends on two factors:
- The extent of the damage
- The impact of speech-language therapy (SLT)
A lot of research studies are available indicating the effectiveness of SLT in treating post-stroke anomia in chronic patients at rehabilitation centres or hospitals. But at the same time, this therapy is not available for patients in many less developing countries due to the burdening of professional resources and financial constraints. To lessen this burden, new technologies i.e computers are started to use in language disorders rehabilitation especially in anomia, recently.
In XNUMX, Zheng and et al [XNUMX] researched the effectiveness of new technologies in post-stroke anomia and concluded that computer therapy is more effective compared to the Verb network strengthening Treatment (VNetSc), an old traditional therapy. Furthermore, computer-based self-administered therapy is XNUMX% cheaper per hour per person as compared to usual clinical SLT therapies. Later on, more studies have been carried out highlighting the effectiveness of new technologies in the management of post-stroke aphasia but many questions remain unanswered i.e.
- none of the studies included the use of the smart tablets in the treatment of anomia
- none have provided information about the effectiveness of specific intervention programs delivered by all available technologies together in the treatment of post-stroke anomia.
A systematic review
To investigate the effectiveness of new technologies based interventions and therapies in the treatment of post-stroke anomia, Monica L and et al carried out an investigational review, which is published in the Journal on Communication Disorders in XNUMX. In this research, XNUMX studies collected from different internet sources i.e PubMed, Google scholar, PsycInfo, and Current content were included following specific inclusion-exclusion criteria. They evaluated selected health care interventions by a meta-analysis using the PRISMA statements. PRISMA is an evidence-based minimum set of items for reporting in systematic reviews and meta-analyses for evaluations of interventions.
The following outcomes were considered:
- Improvement in naming abilities i.e memorizing the names.
- Functional impact of new technology therapy on everyday life( impact of new therapy on communication quality)
In some studies, technology was used as a therapy tool in a clinical setting, in the presence of the clinician, while in others, therapy with technology was self-administered at home, without the clinician.
The following results are concluded by the authors:
- Both self-administered and clinical therapy is effective in naming abilites
- Self-administered treatment by computers or tablets improves the quality of communication of the patients as it raises their self-esteem to work independently on computers and allows them to choose when, where and for how long to practice therapy is another benefit of smart tablets.
Although this research concluded that technology is an efficient tool in the management of post-stroke anomia and provide an opportunity to patients to be independent improves the rehabilitation therapy, yet there are some limitations i.e.
- small prints
- complex languages on the devices
can frustrate the person and the absence of clinicians may lead to decreased motivation.
In the future, ecological tasks and research aimed at evaluating therapy's effectiveness and to add it as “Practice standard” or “Practice guidelines” is needed, since the ultimate goal of improving anomia is to increase the ability to retrieve words more easily in everyday life. Moreover, the researchers can use the control and randomized groups in further studies to estimate the interpretation of the accurate results of self-administered computer therapy in post-stroke anomia with stronger evidence.
You may also be interested in:
- In the Aphasia GameCenter you will find hundreds of free interactive aphasia activities made by us
- Tablet and aphasia: a study shows the effects of autonomous practice at home
- Aphasia: what it is and what can be done
- Speech therapy for post-stroke aphasia: is it useful?
- Aphasia and computerized telerehabilitation: the combination of cognitive training and language training
- Aphasia: CIAT vs M-MAT: which therapy is better?
- The executive functions that affect the rehabilitation of aphasia
- Aphasia and denomination: comparing techniques and results
Our materials for aphasia
All our apps can be used for free online. To use the web-apps even offline on your pc and to support our work is possible download aphasia KIT. This collection contains 5 web-apps (Write the word, Lexical comprehension, Naming of syllables, Recognize syllables and Table of syllables) to be used on a PC and more than a thousand pages of cards with activities to print, communication tables and various materials.
We have also created three large collections of activities on the PDF language divided by area:
- Building the sentences: 35 cards
- Lexicon and semantics: 150 cards
- Syllables and metaphonology: 160 entries