Objectives: The purpose of the current study was to examine the effects and generalization effects of Semantic Feature Analysis (SFA) treatment using a familiarity of nouns scale with individuals who have early dementia of the Alzheimer's type (DAT). Methods: Six individuals with early DAT participated in the study. Three individuals with DAT were treated with low familiarity items first then moved to high, whereas the other three began with high familiarity items first. The SFA treatment protocol consisted of 5 stages: 1) confrontation naming of 32 stimuli (16-treated, 16-untreated), 2) category sorting, 3) semantic feature selection, 4) yes/no questions, and 5) naming. Results: There were significant improvements on treated items after SFA treatment; There were limited generalization effects on untreated items and other naming tasks. In terms of noun familiarity, the High-to-Low group seemed to have greater benefits than the Low-to-High group. Conclusion: Individuals with DAT demonstrated significant increase in naming performance on treated items after SFA treatment using a familiarity of nouns scale. However, the treatment effects were not generalized to untreated noun exemplars and other linguistic-cognitive tasks. Furthermore, they showed significantly decreased performance on the K-MMSE, indicating that their disease had progressed. Despite their clear progress with DAT, it is interesting to note that they showed treatment effects on the treated items. Further studies are required to develop more diverse approaches to language treatments for individuals with neurodegenerative disease.
- Dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT)
- Familiarity of nouns
- Semantic feature analysis (SFA) treatment