Killing the Rumor The Division 2 Advocacy Committee decided that the crucial advocacy issue created by the re-emergence of the rumor “Aphasia Therapy is Dead” was one that needed to be dealt with in the open forum provided by the Power of One page. This rumor has been floating around for several years. ... Article
Article  |   October 01, 2001
Killing the Rumor
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lisa K. Breakey
    San Jose, CA
Article Information
The Power of One: Clinical Practice in Neurogenics
Article   |   October 01, 2001
Killing the Rumor
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, October 2001, Vol. 11, 43-44. doi:10.1044/nnsld11.3.43-a
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, October 2001, Vol. 11, 43-44. doi:10.1044/nnsld11.3.43-a
The Division 2 Advocacy Committee decided that the crucial advocacy issue created by the re-emergence of the rumor “Aphasia Therapy is Dead” was one that needed to be dealt with in the open forum provided by the Power of One page.
This rumor has been floating around for several years. It seems to have started when dysphagia therapy gained prominence, especially in long-term care facilities (LTC). It gained increased credibility when the Prospective Payment System (PPS) was implemented and the amount of speech-language pathology services provided in LTCs decreased by 80% (Warren & Kearns, 2000).
Robert T. Wertz and John C. Rosenbek were asked to respond to the e-mail question ‘Is aphasia therapy dead?” Dr. Wertz wrote “I continue to be amazed by the misconception that treatment for aphasia is not efficacious. No other communication disorder has received as much attention regarding the influence of treatment on outcome. And, there is probably more empirical evidence to support providing treatment to aphasic people than there is for any other communication disorder. Phase 1 and 2 aphasia treatment studies abound and demonstrate treatment has an active influence on outcome. Three randomized controlled treatment trials (Elman and Bernstein-Ellis, 1999, Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research; Katz and Wertz, 1997, Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research; Wertz et al., 1986, Archives of Neurology) indicate that randomly assigned aphasic people who receive treatment make significantly more improvement than randomly assigned aphasic people who do not. And, meta-analyses (Robey, 1994, Brain and Language; Robey, 1998, Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research) indicate that, in general, treatment for aphasia is effective. Thus, if one examines the Phase 1 through 5 treatment outcome research evidence, including Phase 3 efficacy evidence, there is more evidence to support providing aphasia treatment, and funds to support the provision of that treatment, than for any other communication, or swallowing, disorder. Anyone who implies differently is, perhaps, demonstrating evidence envy.”
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