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Volume 43 Number 3, May/June 2006
Pages 379 — 390

Abstract - Effects of two treatments for aprosodia secondary to acquired brain injury

John C. Rosenbek, PhD;1-2* Amy D. Rodriguez, MA, CCC-SLP;1-2 Bethany Hieber, MA;1,3 Susan A. Leon, MA;1,4 Gregory P. Crucian, PhD;1,5 Timothy U. Ketterson, PhD;1,6 Maribel Ciampitti, MS;1,7 Floris Singletary, MS;1,8 Kenneth M. Heilman, MD;1,3,5-6 Leslie J. Gonzalez Rothi, PhD1,5,9

1Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Rehabilitation Research and Development Brain Rehabilitation Research Center, Malcom Randall VA Medical Center (VAMC), Gainesville, FL; 2Department of Communicative Disorders, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL; 3Neurology Service, Malcom Randall VAMC, Gainesville, FL; Departments of 4Communicative Sciences and Disorders, 5Neurology, 6Clinical and Health Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL; 7University of Florida Health Sciences Center, Jacksonville, FL; 8University of Florida Brooks Center for Rehabilitation Studies, Gainesville, FL; 9Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, Malcom Randall VAMC, Gainesville, FL
Abstract — Expressive aprosodia is an impaired ability to change one's voice to express common emotions such as joy, anger, and sadness. Individuals with aprosodia speak in a flat, unemotional voice that often results in miscommunicated emotional messages. This study investigated two conceptually based treatments for expressive aprosodia: imitative treatment and cognitive-linguistic treatment. Five women and nine men with expressive aprosodia following right-hemisphere brain damage received the treatments in two phases 1 month apart in random order. Treatment was received 3 to 4 days a week for a total of 20 sessions each phase. As the outcome measure, sentences that elicited treated (happy, angry, sad, neutral) and untreated (fear) emotional tones of voice were administered during baseline, prior to treatment sessions, following treatment termination, and at 1- and 3-month follow-ups. Effect sizes indicated that treatment effects were modest to substantial and that 12 participants responded to at least one treatment. Four responsive participants who were available for follow-up showed benefit at 1 and 3 months posttreatment. Most visual and statistical analyses were congruent.
Key words: aprosodia, cognitive-linguistic treatment, dysarthria, emotional prosody, expressive, imitative treatment, memory, receptive, rehabilitation, right-hemisphere damage, traumatic brain injury.

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