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Intensive Communicative Therapy Reduces Symptoms of Depression in Chronic Nonfluent Aphasia

Patients with brain lesions and resultant chronic aphasia frequently
suffer from depression. However, no effective interventions are available to
target neuropsychiatric symptoms in patients with aphasia who have severe
language and communication deficits. OBJECTIVE:
The present study aimed to
investigate the efficacy of 2 different methods of speech and language therapy in
reducing symptoms of depression in aphasia on the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI)
using secondary analysis (BILAT-1 trial). METHODS: In a crossover randomized
controlled trial, 18 participants with chronic nonfluent aphasia following
left-hemispheric brain lesions were assigned to 2 consecutive treatments: (1)
intensive language-action therapy (ILAT), emphasizing communicative language use
in social interaction, and (2) intensive naming therapy (INT), an
utterance-centered standard method. Patients were randomly assigned to 2 groups,
receiving both treatments in counterbalanced order. Both interventions were
applied for 3.5 hours daily over a period of 6 consecutive working days. Outcome
measures included depression scores on the BDI and a clinical language test
(Aachen Aphasia Test). RESULTS: Patients showed a significant decrease in
symptoms of depression after ILAT but not after INT, which paralleled changes on
clinical language tests. Treatment-induced decreases in depression scores
persisted when controlling for individual changes in language performance.
CONCLUSIONS: Intensive training of behaviorally relevant verbal communication in
social interaction might help reduce symptoms of depression in patients with
chronic nonfluent aphasia.

Langue : ANGLAIS

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