The need for a specific, language-based treatment approach to aphasic impairments associated with attentional deficits is well documented. We describe language-specific attention treatment, a specific skill-based approach for aphasia that exploits increasingly complex linguistic tasks that focus attention. The program consists of eight tasks, some with multiple phases, to assess and treat lexical and sentence processing. Validation results demonstrate that these tasks load on six attentional domains: (1) executive attention; (2) attentional switching; (3) visual selective attention/processing speed; (4) sustained attention; (5) auditory-verbal working memory; and (6) auditory processing speed. The program demonstrates excellent inter- and intrarater reliability and adequate test-retest reliability. Two of four people with aphasia exposed to this program demonstrated good language recovery whereas three of the four participants showed improvements in auditory-verbal working memory. The results provide support for this treatment program in patients with aphasia having no greater than a moderate degree of attentional impairment.
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.