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Aphasia is a language disorder caused by injury or disease to the language network. While naming impairment is the hallmark feature of aphasia, it can affect a person’s ability to communicate across modalities (e.g., speaking, listening, reading, and/or writing) and negatively impacts the individual's quality of life. Primary progressive aphasia (PPA) is a clinical syndrome caused by neurodegenerative disease (e.g., AD, FTD), and progression includes global cognitive and communication disruption. Communication Partner Instruction (CPI) is an evidence-based approach that focuses on instructing communication partners on how to best provide communicative support for a person with aphasia. The goal of CPI is to encourage the development of individualized strategies that improve message transmission and reduce the frustrations of communication breakdowns. Aphasia is a chronic condition that could continually benefit from therapeutic intervention and communicative supports (e.g., communication partner support, augmented and alternative communication strategies, environmental modifications). However, many people with PPA (PWPPA) are unable to continue with treatment due to the lack of recognition of the benefits of speech-language services for PPA by insurance providers and the cost of private treatment. Therefore, group therapy activities can be a cost-effective way to administer therapy in aphasia. The goal of this project is to design and implement a curriculum of group CPI administered virtually to PWPPA and their primary communication partners. Our lab has designed a virtual CPI group for individuals with PPA which includes 5 monthly sessions for PWPPA and communication partners to attend together. Each session aims to: 1) educate members about aphasia and common naming errors, 2) provide supported communication for PWPPA and identify current strategies, 3) evaluate current strategies and identify potential new strategies, 4) assemble a strategy toolkit and troubleshooting support, and 5) expand communication partnership and self-advocacy. Our poster will present details.


Poster presented at the Brain & Behavioral Health Research Day 2022



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