Is Dysphasia Rehabilitation Effective?
Aphasiologists are no longer satisfied with impressionistic judgements as to the effectiveness of dysphasia rehabilitation. Instead they seek scientific evidence, through formal studies, that treatment has a significantly positive effect on dysphasic patients. When undertaking any treatment study, certain variables which may confound the results must be identified and controlled. The most potent of the variables to be considered in dysphasia rehabilitation is the phenomenon known as spontaneous recovery. This is the period during which structurally undamaged portions of the brain regain function following insult. If treatment is administered during the period of natural recovery, then the investigator has the task of differentiating effect of treatment from effect of spontaneous improvement. There is, however, little agreement as to exactly how long spontaneous recovery takes place. Vignolo (1964) retrospectively examined the evolution of dysphasia in 69 non-traumatic patients and found that patients seen after 2 months had only a limited possibility of spontaneous recovery compared to patients seen before 2 months. Culton (1969) studied the recovery patterns of 21 dysphasics and concluded that the greatest degree of recovery takes place in the first month post onset, and that little more occurs after 2 months. Butfield and Zangwill (1946) and Luria (1963), on the other hand, State that spontaneous recovery takes place for as long as six months, particularly in traumatic dysphasias. Other authors use a 3 month cut off point (Sarno and Levita, 1971). Despite the disagreement as to the length of the spontaneous recovery period, the phenomenon is real, and must be reckoned with in any dysphasia treatment study.
KeywordsSpontaneous Recovery Case Study Approach Natural Recovery Recovery Pattern Post Onset
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.