Gian Daniele Zannino, Elisa Morelli, Roberta Perri, Carlo Caltagirone & Giovanni Augusto Carlesimo
Background: new technologies show promise in the construction of self-administered home-based programs for targeting language impairments, in overcoming mobility problems and in providing access to care in a cost-effective and time-saving way.
Aims: in the present study, we investigated the feasibility and effectiveness of a self-administered home-based program for treating word-finding difficulties in persons with Alzheimer’s disease.
Methods & procedures: ten participants practised word repetition training on a smart tablet for two weeks. Two slightly different training conditions were adopted; they varied as to the order of the presentation of the word to be repeated and the corresponding picture.
Outcomes & results: both training modalities proved effective in improving naming accuracy on the treated items. There were hints of greater treatment efficacy when the picture was presented before the word to be repeated. Furthermore, when the trial started with the word, the degree of general cognitive impairment and lexical semantic deficits correlated with the effect size of the training benefit. By contrast, the picture first training did not have this modulatory effect. Finally, no generalisation to untreated items was observed in naming accuracy, but was detectable with a more sensitive stem completion task.
Conclusions: our study provides compelling evidence in favour of the feasibility and efficacy of a homebased program for remediating anomia in AD.
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