Improved language in chronic aphasia after self-delivered iPad speech therapy

Neuropsychol Rehabil. 2018 Jul;28(5):818-831. doi: 10.1080/09602011.2016.1146150. Epub 2016 Feb 29.


Self-delivered speech therapy provides an opportunity for individualised dosage as a complement to the speech-therapy regime in the long-term rehabilitation pathway. Few apps for speech therapy have been subject to clinical trials, especially on a self-delivered platform. In a crossover design study, the Comprehensive Aphasia Test (CAT) and Cookie Theft Picture Description (CTPD) were used to measure untrained improvement in a group of chronic expressive aphasic patients after using a speech therapy app. A pilot study (n = 3) and crossover design (n = 7) comparing the therapy app with a non-language mind-game were conducted. Patients self-selected their training on the app, with a recommended use of 20 minutes per day. There was significant post-therapy improvement on the CAT and CTPD but no significant improvement after the mind-game intervention, suggesting there were language-specific effects following use of the therapy app. Improvements on the CTPD, a functional measurement of speech, suggest that a therapy app can produce practical, important changes in speech. The improvements post-therapy were not due to type of language category trained or amount of training on the app, but an inverse relationship with severity at baseline and post-therapy improvement was shown. This study suggests that self-delivered therapy via an app is beneficial for chronic expressive aphasia.

Keywords: Aphasia; chronic; ipad; rehabilitation; stroke; therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aphasia, Broca / psychology
  • Aphasia, Broca / therapy*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Computers, Handheld*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Language Tests
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mobile Applications
  • Pilot Projects
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Speech Therapy*
  • Therapy, Computer-Assisted*
  • Treatment Outcome