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Neuropsychol Rehabil. 2019 Feb 4:1-31. doi: 10.1080/09602011.2019.1570943. [Epub ahead of print]

Improvement in functional vocabulary and generalization to conversation following a self-administered treatment using a smart tablet in primary progressive aphasia.

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a Département de réadaptation , Université Laval , Québec , QC , Canada.
b Centre de recherche CERVO - Brain Research Centre , Québec , QC , Canada.
c École de réadaptation , Université de Montréal, Montréal , QC , Canada.
d Centre de recherche, Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal , Montréal , QC , Canada.
e Clinique interdisciplinaire de mémoire, CHU de Québec-Hôpital de l'Enfant-Jésus , Québec , QC , Canada.
f Département de médecine , Université Laval , Québec , QC , Canada.


Currently, public services in speech-language pathology for primary progressive aphasia (PPA) are very limited, although several interventions have been shown to be effective. In this context, new technologies have the potential to enable people with PPA to improve their communication skills. The main aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of a self-administered therapy using a smart tablet to improve naming of functional words and to assess generalization to an ecological conversation task. Five adults with PPA completed the protocol. Using an ABA design with multiple baselines, naming performance was compared across four equivalent lists: (1) trained with functional words; (2) trained with words from a picture database; (3) exposed but not trained; and (4) not exposed (control). Treatment was self-administered four times a week for a period of four consecutive weeks. A significant improvement for trained words was found in all five participants, and gains were maintained two months post-treatment in four of them. Moreover, in three participants, evidence of generalization was found in conversation. This study supports the efficacy of using a smart tablet to improve naming in PPA and suggests the possibility of generalization to an ecological context.


Primary progressive aphasia; anomia; rehabilitation; smart tablet; treatment

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