Effects of working memory treatment using verb-carrier phrases on language processing in persons with mild cognitive impairment

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Abstract

The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects of working memory (WM) treatment using verb-carrier phrases on language processing for individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Methods: A total of eight individuals with MCI participated in this study. The WM treatment consisted of 12 sessions, twice a week for an hour per day. WM treatment protocol employed verb-carrier phrases to enhance WM span by manipulating semantic span and syntactic complexity at the sentence-level. The treatment protocol consisted of 10 steps: step 1, forward word span repetition; step 2, target sentence repetition; step 3, phrase repetition after chunking sentences; step 4, answering wh-questions; step 5, word recognition; step 6, verb-noun matching; step 7, sentence construction using verb-carrier phrases; step 8, recalling word span-forward; step 9, recalling word span-backward; and step 10, target sentence construction. Results: Pre-post comparisons using Wilcoxon signed-ranks tests revealed that there were significant increases in performance on target sentence repetition and word span with treated words. The treatment effects were generalized on the word span forward and visuospatial span backward tasks using untreated items. Treatment effects were additionally generalized onto sentence comprehension and generative naming abilities. Conclusion: The current study suggests that WM treatment using verb-carrier phrases is effective in enhancing the sentence repetition ability, sentence comprehension, WM span and generative naming abilities in people with MCI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)524-537
Number of pages14
JournalCommunication Sciences and Disorders
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Korean Academy of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.

Keywords

  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Verb carrier phrase
  • Working memory treatment

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