Dysphasia Therapy: A Respectable Occupation?

  • Rosalyn Shute
  • Krystyna Curtis


The efficacy of dysphasia therapy has been a matter of considerable debate for some years. As noted by Benson (1979) there appears to be a long-standing belief among neurologists that such therapy is ineffective, and that any improvement which occurs is not produced by the treatment, but represents spontaneous recovery (e.g. Bay, 1973). After reviewing the evidence Miller (1984) also came to the conclusion that there is very little evidence in favour of the effectiveness of dysphasia therapy. Howard and Hatfield (1987) believe that the scientific community has come to see dysphasia therapy as intuitive and imprecise. It is, they suggest, a less respectable occupation than studying dysphasia for the purpose of testing theoretical models within the hard-nosed discipline of cognitive psychology. Newcombe (1985) also notes that, while the management of patients with neuropsychological impairments is very demanding, its yield for the citation index is small. Powell (1984), in a review of Miller’s (1984) book, proposed that neuro-psychological therapy ‘should still be considered the province of the experimentalist, and not taught willy-nilly to other groups or professions who do not have the necessary scientific background’.


Spontaneous Recovery Speech Therapist Remedial Education Local Education Authority Linguistic Performance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Barlow, D.H. & Hersen, M. (1984). Single Case Experimental Designs: Strategies for Studying Behavior Change (2nd Edit.). New York: Pergamon.Google Scholar
  2. Bay, E. (1973). Der gegenvärtige Stand der Aphasieforschung. Nervenartzt, 44, 57-64.Google Scholar
  3. Benson, D.F. (1979). Aphasia rehabilitation. Archives of Neurology, 36, 187-189.Google Scholar
  4. Byng, S. & Coltheart, M. (1986). Aphasia therapy research: methodological requirements and illustrative results. in: E. Hjelmquist & L.B. Nilsson (eds.). Communication and Handicap. Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  5. Code, C. & Moller, D.J. (1983). Perspectives in aphasia theray: an overview. in: C. Code & D.J. Moller (eds.). Aphasia Therapy. London: Edward Arnold.Google Scholar
  6. Curtis, K.J. (1986). ABE and the re-education of brain-injured people. Adult Education, 59, 44-47.Google Scholar
  7. David, R.M., Enderby, P. & Bainton, D. (1982). Treatment of acquired aphasia: speech therapists and volunteers compared. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 45, 957-961.Google Scholar
  8. Edelman, G. (1986). Aphasia - a complex phenomenon. Therapy Weekly. 28 August, p.4.Google Scholar
  9. Eisenson, J. (1973). Adult Aphasia: Assessment and Treatment. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  10. Foot, H. (1986). Humour and laughter. in: O. Hargie (ed.). A Handbook of Communication Skills. London: Croom Helm.Google Scholar
  11. Goldstein, K. (1942). After Effects of Brain Injuries in War. London: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  12. Holland, A.L. (1975). The effectiveness of treatment in aphasia. in: R.H. Brookshire (ed.). Clinical Aphasiology Conference Proceedings. Minneapolis: BRK Publishers.Google Scholar
  13. Howard, D. (1986). Beyond randomised controlled trials: the case for effective case studies of the effects of treatment in aphasia. British Journal of Disorders of Communication, 21, 89-102.Google Scholar
  14. Howard, D. & Hatfield, F.M. (1987). Aphasia Therapy: Historical and Contemporary Issues. Hove: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  15. Hutchinson, E.M. (1963). Introduction to Adult Education. National Institute for Adult Education.Google Scholar
  16. Jordan, L. & Law, D. (1986). Left speechless. Community Care, 20 March, 25-27.Google Scholar
  17. Marshall, R.C. & Watts, M. (1976). Relaxation training: effects on the communicative ability of aphasic adults. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 57, 464-467.Google Scholar
  18. Meikle, M.S. & Wechsler, E. (1983). The use of volunteers in the treatment of dysphasia following cerebrovascular accident. in: C. Code & D.J. Müller (eds.). Aphasia Therapy. London: Edward Arnold.Google Scholar
  19. Meikle, M., Wechsler, E., Tupper, A., Benenson, M., Butler, J., Mulhall, D. & Stern, G. (1979). Comparative trial of volunteer and professional treatments of dysphasia after stroke. British Medical Journal, 2, 87-89.Google Scholar
  20. Miller, E. (1984). Recovery and Management of Neuropsychological Impairments. Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar
  21. Newcombe, F. (1985). Rehabilitation in clinical neurology: neuropsychological aspects. in: J.A.M. Frederiks (ed.). Handbook of Clinical Neurology, Vo1.2(4T: Neurobehavioural Disorders. Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  22. Potter, R.E. & Goodman, N.J. (1983). The implementation of laughter as a therapy facilitator with adult aphasics. Journal of Communication Disorders, 16, 41-48.Google Scholar
  23. Powell, G. (1984). Review of Miller (1984). Bulletin of the BPS, 37, 417-418.Google Scholar
  24. Sarno, M.T. (1981). Recovery and rehabilitation in aphasia. in: M.T. Sarno (ed.). Acquired Aphasia. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  25. Shewan, C.M. (1986). The history and efficacy of aphasia treatment. in: R. Chapey (ed.). Language Intervention Strategies in Adult Aphasia. (2nd Edit.). Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins.Google Scholar
  26. Shewan, C.M. and Bandur, D.L. (1986). Treatment of Aphasia: a Language-Oriented Approach. London: Taylor and Francis.Google Scholar
  27. Shewan, C.M. & Kertesz, A. (1984). Effects of speech and language treat- ment on recovery from aphasia. Brain and Language, 23, 272-299.Google Scholar
  28. Tsvetkova, L.S. (1980). Some ways of optimisation of aphasics' rehabilitation. International Journal of Rehabilitation Research, 3, 183190.Google Scholar
  29. Woodhouse, L. & Müller, D.J. Caring for the carers: current levels of support for famlies of dysphasic adults. Journal of the Royal Society of Health, in press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosalyn Shute
  • Krystyna Curtis

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations