Treatment intensity in acquired apraxia of speech (Wambaugh et al., 2018)

Purpose: This investigation was designed to examine the effects of treatment intensity (i.e., dose frequency) on the outcomes of Sound Production Treatment (SPT) for acquired apraxia of speech.
Method: Five men with chronic apraxia of speech and aphasia received both intense SPT (3 hr per day/3 days per week) and nonintense/traditional SPT (SPT-T; 1 hr per day/3 days per week) in the context of single-case experimental designs. Each treatment was applied separately to a designated set of experimental words with 1 treatment applied at a time. Twenty-seven treatment sessions were conducted with each phase of treatment. Accuracy of articulation of target sounds within treated and untreated experimental words was measured during the course of the investigation.
Results: All participants demonstrated improved articulation with both treatment intensities. Better maintenance of gains for treated items was found with SPT-T for 2 participants as measured at an 8-week posttreatment retention probe. Superior maintenance of increased accuracy of production of untreated items was also observed with SPT-T for all participants.
Conclusion: A less intense (distributed) application of SPT facilitated better maintenance of improved articulatory accuracy for untreated items, and in some cases treated items, than intense SPT.

Supplemental Material S1. Examples of participants’ discourse: pretreatment samples (Nicholas & Brookshire, 1993).

Supplemental Material S2. Probe and treatment stimuli.

Supplemental Material S3. Sound Production Treatment (SPT) treatment log (minimal pair).

Wambaugh, J. L., Wright, S., Boss, E., Mauszycki, S. C., DeLong, C., Hula, W., & Doyle, P. J. (2018). Effects of treatment intensity on outcomes in acquired apraxia of speech. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 27(1S), 306–322.