Objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine the generalization effect of semantic category-based working memory (SCWM) treatment on sentence comprehension and word fluency in persons with aphasia. It was predicted that SCWM treatment would enhance working memory capacity and increase sentence comprehension ability and word fluency in patients with aphasia. Methods: Seven Korean individuals with mild to moderate aphasia caused by left hemisphere stroke participated in this study. The interventions were provided in 16 sessions, approximately half an hour per day 2 to 3 times a week. Treatment protocol consisted of an SCWM span task and 4 cues: telling a word list to the participants, showing the participants category cards, showing the participants random word cards, and asking the participants to match category and word cards. A pretest-posttest design was used. Pre-post comparisons were analyzed with the Wilcoxon signed-ranks test. Results: There were significant score increases in the SCWM span task. Furthermore, the SCWM treatment effects were generalized to sentence comprehension ability, categorical word fluency, and working memory span with word forward repetition tasks. Conclusion: The current study suggests that SCWM treatment is effective in enhancing working memory capacity for people with aphasia. Furthermore, the treatment effects were generalized to sentence comprehension ability and categorical word fluency in these patients. The results indicate that working memory is an underlying mechanism associated with sentence comprehension and categorical word fluency and is a critical factor to be considered in language treatment for persons with aphasia.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean government (No. NRF-2014S1A5A8018080).
© 2016 Korean Academy of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.
- Semantic category
- Sentence comprehension
- Word fluency
- Working memory