Communication Bridge: A pilot feasibility study of Internet-based speech-language therapy for individuals with progressive aphasia

Emily J. Rogalski*, Marie Saxon, Hannah McKenna, Christina Wieneke, Alfred Rademaker, Marya E. Corden, Kathryn Borio, M. Marsel Mesulam, Becky Khayum

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction Individuals with aphasia symptoms due to neurodegenerative disease are under-referred for speech-language therapy (SLT) services. We sought to determine the feasibility of utilizing telepractice, via Internet videoconferencing, to connect individuals with progressive aphasia to a speech-language pathologist (SLP) for treatment. Methods Participants received an initial evaluation, 8 person-centered Internet-based SLT sessions, and 2 post-therapy evaluations. The feasibility of providing Web-based SLT, strategies used and their compliance, functional gains, and the duration of benefit were assessed. Results Thirty-four participants from 21 states and Canada were enrolled. Thirty-one participants completed the 6-month evaluation. SLP-assessed and self-reported functional gains and increased confidence in communication were documented at 2 months and maintained at 6 months postenrollment. Discussion Internet-based SLT using person-centered interventions provides a feasible model for delivering care to individuals with dementia and mild and/or moderate aphasia symptoms who have an engaged care-partner and prior familiarity with a computer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-221
Number of pages9
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia: Translational Research and Clinical Interventions
Volume2
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Apraxia of speech
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Primary progressive aphasia
  • Speech-language pathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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