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Publication Detail
Effects of functional communication interventions for people with primary progressive aphasia and their caregivers: a systematic review
Objectives: Primary progressive aphasia (PPA) is a language led dementia characterised by progressive speech and language difficulties. Impairment focused PPA interventions that seek to remediate, alleviate or improve symptoms, dominate the research literature. Yet speech and language therapists (SLTs) report prioritising functional communication interventions (FCIs), which target engagement in an activity and participation in life situations. This systematic review investigates the research literature on FCIs for PPA to identify the key components of these interventions and their effectiveness. Method: A systematic search of databases identified 19 studies published between 1998 and 2018. Data were extracted from the articles using the Intervention Taxonomy adaptation (ITAX). Results: Results show that the two most common components of FCIs are to build on communication strategies people currently use, and to practise these strategies with a communication partner. There are variations in the interventions, such as location and dosage. All 19 studies report improvements, of which eight report statistically significant results. Forty-two different measures are used across the 19 studies. Conclusion: This study highlights that building on existing strategies and practising these with a CP, are key components of FCIs for people with PPA, yet there remains a lack of clarity around optimal dosage. Further rigorous research using a core set of outcome measures is a priority in this area.
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