A pilot study of AID-COMp: An innovative speech–language intervention for patients with early-stage major neurocognitive disorder


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Chesneau, S., Mekary, M., Chayer, N. et Le Dorze, G. (2022). A pilot study of AID-COMp: An innovative speech–language intervention for patients with early-stage major neurocognitive disorder. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders . ISSN 1368-2822 DOI 10.1111/1460-6984.12701

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Abstract Background Major neurocognitive disorder (MND) alters cognition, memory and language, and consequently affects communication. Speech–language therapy (SLT) may alleviate communication difficulties. Aims This pilot study explored the effects of intensive SLT emphasizing memory, language, and discourse impairment and complementary communication strategies, called Aid for Communication—For Persons Who Live with MND (AID-COMp). Methods & Procedures We employed a mixed design using quantitative and qualitative methods with four dyads, including a person living with MND (PwMND) and a family carer. The design included a control period, and we tested participants before (T1) and after 2 months without therapy (T2). AID-COMp was then provided intensively three times per week for 10 sessions and participants were tested again (T3). Participants were also involved in an individual qualitative interview after therapy ended, probing their experience and possible effects on their lives. AID-COMp included: (1) spaced retrieval to teach the use of a memory book; (2) semantic and phonological therapy for lexical access; (3) discourse treatment based on the analysis of the macrostructure and microstructure of stories in pictures and texts; and (4) PACE therapy for generalization. Carers were not included in treatment, did not attend sessions and were only involved in the evaluations. Measures included language, communication, cognitive and well-being tests. Paired t-tests (one-tailed) compared scores for the control period, that is, T1 versus T2. We compared scores after therapy (T3) with those at T2. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed qualitatively. Outcomes & Results For the control period, only text comprehension scores significantly decreased in PwMND. After therapy, improvements occurred on the Boston Naming Test (BNT), the Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) and the well-being measure for the PwMND. Carer scores were unchanged after therapy except for their perception of the PwMND's communication which improved. Qualitative findings comprised three themes: (1) understanding therapy; (2) recovering abilities and relationships; and (3) naming further needs. Conclusions & Implications We hypothesize that AID-COMp addressed the underlying impairments associated with MND and provided various tools to PwMND for composing effectively with them. Indeed, AID-COMp appears to provoke some degree of improvement of language skills, cognition and emotional well-being. These improvements may lead to more confidence in conversation and the recovery of relationships between the PwMND and their entourage. It is also possible that improvements acted positively on one another. These preliminary findings warrant further controlled studies with more participants, including a qualitative exploration of participant experiences. WHAT THIS PAPER ADDS What is already known on the subject MND affects cognition and communication, which are crucial to a good relationship between a carer and a person with MND. Interventions involving only PwMND have been shown to be effective, but do not address all the communication impairments in the mild stage of MND. These interventions may require many therapy sessions. Generally, SLT interventions do not examine the potential effects of an intervention on carers. What this paper adds to existing knowledge AID-COMp, an intensive intervention of 10 sessions over 1 month, was provided to people living with MND in the community. It included training the person with MND in using a memory notebook combined with semantic and phonological therapy, a new discourse therapy and PACE therapy, addressing several communication deficits. After a control period of 2 months without intervention and a 1-month intensive intervention, the results showed significant improvement in naming, cognition and communication, and PwMND well-being. Moreover, the carers witnessed the impacts of therapy in their everyday life interactions with the PwMND. What are the potential or actual clinical implications of this work AID-COMp c n provide communication support for PwMND that has further benefits reported by both PwMND and carers. We described AID-COMp in detail to inspire clinicians in providing SLT for unserved PwMND. Future research studies should use controlled designs, more participants and a qualitative component.

Type de document: Article
Mots-clés libres: Discourse therapy Major neurocognitive disorder Memory book Phonological therapy Semantic therapy Speech–language therapy
Date de dépôt: 01 mars 2022 16:05
Dernière modification: 01 mars 2022 16:05
Version du document déposé: Post-print (version corrigée et acceptée)
URI: https://depot-e.uqtr.ca/id/eprint/9970

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