Detailed information for Speech Pathologists

Go go

Another therapy site/app/software?

Yes, but this one is free. I don't plan to introduce a fee - it's for those who can't buy an iPad and apps, or can't buy/use the computer software available. I also noted that many of the 'therapy' sites being recommended by speech pathologists are aimed at children, which can be demeaning. I want patients to be able to practise at home with more than just pen and paper, without needing assistance from carers and without spending money.

Features

Rationales for setup

Word choice

Generalisation of treated items to conversation has been demonstrated in studies (e.g., 1 2 3), but evidence for generalisation of treated items to untreated items is not clear (e.g. 4 5). It is therefore important that words chosen for therapy are highly useful (1). The words for this website are chosen in order of frequency to be most functional. This was, of course, limited by what words can accurately be represented by images.

Psycholinguistics

I used the SUBTLEXUS corpus which contains verbal frequency ratings for words. While it is based on subtitles and is therefore only 'TV' vocabulary, it is likely more representative of real verbal communication than written frequency. There were some items with high frequency (e.g. 'bomb') that I excluded as they are [hopefully] not often used in everyday language. For colour, clothing and numbers I added relevant words myself, and for gardening I retrieved the highest frequency words from the full text of a gardening book.

Number of words

Each group has approximately 40-50 words (see table below). There are some studies suggesting that even people with severe aphasia can benefit from a high number of treatment words (6) so I saw no need to limit word lists to less than this.

Cueing Hierarchy (naming task)

An increasing cueing hierarchy is used. Increasing and decreasing cues appear to be equally efficacious (7 8 9). The cues used (semantic → sentence → letter → phonemic → written) are based loosely on Abel et al. (2005) and general clinical practice.

Details for each wordlist

Number
of items*
Frequency
(range)
Imageability
(range)
Wordlength
(mean, sd)
Easy 1 45 144 — 3670 380 — 690 4.4, 1.2
Easy 2 40 59 — 132 501 — 690 4.5, 1.5
Easy 3 40 38 — 70 490 — 680 4.8, 1.2
Easy 4 40 23 — 68 380 — 690 5.0, 1.5
Easy 5 45 15 — 33 490 — 690 5.2, 1.6
Easy 6 45 9 — 22 383 — 680 5.9, 2.0
Medium 1 45 .84 — 9 380 — 670 7.0, 2.0
Medium 2 50 .71 — .84 310 — 670 7.9, 1.6
Hard 1 53 .08 — .16 382 — 603 8.2, 1.8
Hard 2 45 .02 — .08 377 — 632 8.0, 1.8
Animals 50 .02 — 192 450 — 680 6.2, 2.4
Body 27 .10 — 279 500 — 690 4.9, 1.6
Clothing 25 .06 — 93 380 — 680 5.5, 1.5
Colours 12 .88 — 171 500 — 680 5.1, 1.5
Food & Drink 70 .02 — 300 400 — 690 6.3, 2.3
Garden 38 .04 — 86 371 — 680 5.5, 1.9
Common objects 58 .04 — 514 420 — 690 5.4, 2.2
Music 16 .02 — 97 408 — 660 6.7, 1.2
Number 21 2.06 — 3072 432 — 640 4.8, 2.2
Sport 22 .02 — 105 400 — 680 7.1, 2.3
All 584 .02 — 41857 120 — 690 5.8, 2.3
* ±3 depending on region

Questions? Comments? Feedback?

Emailjohn@aphasiatherapyonline.com Tweet to @JohnPierce85twitter profile

References

1. Conroy, P., Sage, K., & Ralph, M. L. (2009). Improved vocabulary production after naming therapy in aphasia: can gains in picture naming generalise to connected speech?. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 44(6), 1036-1062.

2. Best, W., Grassly, J., Greenwood, A., Herbert, R., Hickin, J., & Howard, D. (2011). A controlled study of changes in conversation following aphasia therapy for anomia. Disability and rehabilitation, 33(3), 229-242.

3. Carragher, M., Conroy, P., Sage, K., and Wilkinson, R. (2012). Can impairment-focused therapy change the everyday conversations of people with aphasia? A review of the literature and future directions. Aphasiology, 26(7):895-916.

4. Nickels, L. (2002). Therapy for naming disorders: Revisiting, revising, and reviewing. Aphasiology16(10-11), 935-979.

5. Renvall, K., Nickels, L., & Davidson, B. (2013). Functionally relevant items in the treatment of aphasia (part I): Challenges for current practice. Aphasiology, 27(6), 636–650.

6. Snell, C., Sage, K., and Lambon Ralph, M. A. (2010). How many words should we provide in anomia therapy? a meta-analysis and a case series study. Aphasiology, 24(9):1064-1094.

7. Abel, S., Schultz, A., Radermacher, I., Willmes, K., and Huber, W. (2005). Decreasing and increasing cues in naming therapy for aphasia. Aphasiology, 19(9):831-848.

8. Conroy, P., Sage, K., and Lambon Ralph, M. A. (2009). The effects of decreasing and increasing cue therapy on improving naming speed and accuracy for verbs and nouns in aphasia. Aphasiology, 23(6):707-730.

9. Conroy, P., Sage, K., and Lambon Ralph, M. A. (2009). Errorless and errorful therapy for verb and noun naming in aphasia. Aphasiology, 23(11):1311-1337.