Effectiveness of computerized communication treatment for neurologically impaired adults Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/ws859k56x

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  • The single subject alternating treatment design experiment reported here compared the effectiveness of pencil-and-paper versus computerized communication treatment for neurologically impaired adults. Five stroke patients receiving outpatient speech/language treatment (ages 51-72) served as subjects. One subject completed the experiment as designed and clearly supported the hypothesis that a higher number of correct responses would be produced using the computer generated exercises than the pencil-and-paper version. Two subjects were unable to demonstrate improvement using the experimental treatment program and the other two subjects were unable to master keyboarding skills necessary to use the computer effectively. However, four out of five subjects preferred using the computer even though it did not result in improved performance. Details of specific subjects' performance, and benefits and cautions regarding computer use are discussed. Results suggest that adequate receptive language skills favor effective computer use while impulsivity and visual spatial deficits may be expected to interfere. Careful matching of treatment task to the individual is important; if the task is too easy or too difficult potential benefit of computer use may be masked. The study also supports the finding that computer use is a highly motivating treatment technique for some patients and may be of benefit even if improved task performance does not result. Suggestions for further research include comparison of computerized versus non-computerized treatment for a greater variety of tasks, careful task analysis of currently available software, examination of techniques for training the mechanics of computer use, examination of specific subject characteristics which correlate with successful use of the computer, and determination of which aspect of computer use, specific feedback or improved motivation, is responsible for improved performance.
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