[Truncated abstract] Word finding difficulty is one of the most prevalent of all communication impairments. Brain damage, such as that derived through stroke, greatly magnifies its occurrence. For those who face word finding difficulty, great psychosocial impact is reported. As a word finding difficulty disrupts the natural flow of conversation, its impact on inclusion in social activity can be significant. Two therapy approaches for word finding difficulty have emerged in the clinical domain. Each has been guided by a different understanding of how language is impacted by neurological damage. One views word finding difficulty as a loss of the rules and representations used to plan and produce language. Therapy aims to remediate deficit areas through practice of the rules and representations that have been damaged. The second assumes a preservation of language representations, with word finding difficulty instead due to impairments of the cognitive processes supporting the production of language. It assumes that language production is limited by the availability of cognitive resources to task completion. Therapy guided by this latter understanding engages the processes of language production in applied contexts. To date, there has been no comparison of these two therapeutic approaches to word finding difficulty following stroke. The purpose of the current research project was to explore the extent to which these two therapy strategies contribute to meaningful communicative outcome. Given the psychosocial impact of word finding difficulty following stroke, facilitating the use of communication skills required for social participation is imperative.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Publication status||Unpublished - 2011|