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Anomia treatment with contextual priming: A case study

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Background: We present a multiple-baseline single-case treatment study on anomia. The present anomia treatment technique originates from several studies whose aim was to test word-production models in a multiple object naming paradigm by eliciting naming responses in normal (Martin, Weisberg, & Saffran, 1989) and aphasic speakers (Laine & Martin, 1996; Martin & Laine, 2000). In addition to evidence in favour of interactive word-production models, the studies of Laine and Martin (1996) and Martin and Laine (2000) have suggested that the procedure, known as contextual priming, might facilitate target naming in anomic patients at least in some naming conditions. Aims: Our aim was to test further the therapeutic potential of the contextual priming technique with the following questions: (1) Does the treatment technique facilitate the naming of target words? (2) Does a particular treatment condition (semantic, phonological, unrelated) show more facilitation than others? (3) Does the treatment technique facilitate the naming of untrained control items? (4) If there is a facilitatory effect, is it enduring? Methods & Procedures: A single anomic person with a long-standing anomia was treated with contextual priming. The technique included repeated cycles of spontaneous naming attempts and repetition of target names after the examiner. In the treatment, the target items were presented in sets of five pictures that were related either semantically or phonologically or were unrelated. The treatment was carried out in a multiple-baseline design consisting of 10 baseline measurements, 27 treatment sessions along with 27 within-training measurements, and 1 post-measurement 1.5 months after the treatment. Outcomes & Results: The anomic patient showed facilitation of the target naming in all contextual conditions. Generalisation to the untrained control items was evident in the semantic context only. The effect of naming facilitation was present up to the last follow-up measurement 1.5 months post-training. Conclusions: The results indicate that the contextual priming technique can provide long-term facilitation of target naming in anomia and induce some generalisation to untreated items.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: University of Turku and University of Helsinki, Finland 2: Åbo Akademi University, Finland 3: University of Turku and University of Helsinki, Finland> 4: Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2003


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