Semin Speech Lang 2020; 41(01): 071-082
DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-3400991
Review Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Efficacy of Group Conversation Intervention in Individuals with Severe Profiles of Aphasia

Elizabeth Hoover
1  Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts
Alexandra McFee
1  Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts
Gayle DeDe
2  Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
23 December 2019 (online)


An estimated 390,000 to 520,000 individuals with severe aphasia (IWSA) currently live in the United States. IWSA experience profound social isolation, which is associated with a wide range of negative health outcomes, including mortality. Treatments for severe aphasia frequently focus on compensatory communication approaches or a discrete communication act rather than on participation-based treatment. The purpose of this study was to determine whether IWSA demonstrated improved performance on standardized language measures, patient-reported outcome measures, and connected speech samples as a result of client-centered conversation group treatment. Results of assessments conducted at pretreatment, posttreatment, and maintenance intervals were variable across participants. All participants demonstrated improvement in at least one of the outcome measures considered. Importantly, none of these measures fully captured how IWSA were able to convey their thoughts in supported conversation. The results lend support for the use of conversation treatment for, and for further study in, this subpopulation of individuals with aphasia.


Elizabeth Hoover is a salaried employee at Boston University and serves on the board of Aphasia Access. Gayle DeDe is a salaried employee of Temple University.