Why intensive therapy works
SLTs are recognising the productivity improvements and increases in quality and intensity of therapy that computer-based systems offer. This can be delivered in a cost-effective way, with patient centric focus in a safe environment within the hospital/clinic/nursing home/community.
Clinical practice with many thousands of clients has shown over many years that people will interface for much longer periods with computer based exercises than face-to-face exercises. Clients also are motivated by the consistency of feedback, and feel less of a stigma in the computer telling them they’ve made an error. We’ve seen huge increases in the self-esteem of clients, some of whom had never previously even used a computer.
Furthermore, several excellent clinical trials have demonstrated the benefits of intensive speech and language therapy.
“Research has shown that for therapy to be of benefit it needs to be intensive” 1 (Brady et al. 2012).
“Computer based therapy exercises are an established ideal way of enabling SLT to provide intensive input” 2 (Palmer, Enderby & Paterson 2013).
“The literature tells us that intensive therapy shows far greater outcomes than less intense practice for achieving neuroplastic change in the brain” 3 (Kleim & Jones 2008).
“Therapists provide specific, salient exercises to their patients, but are not often able to spend the necessary time with the patient to achieve the intensity or repetition required for neural and/or muscular change. Use of computer software in speech therapy is well-documented to provide adequate stimulation for improved outcomes outside of time with the therapist and a ‟combined approach (direct SLT and computer therapy) may be helpful in improving the connected speech of even chronic and severely non-fluent speakers”. 4 (McCall et al, 2009).
An fMRI clinical trial study examined the effects of auditory comprehension therapy conducted using React2 exercises produced "results which show that the more React2 therapy patients carry out, the more improvement is seen". 5 (Jones 2016)
- Cochrane database of systematic reviews 2005, Issue 2
- Palmer, Enderby and Paterson (2013) Using computers to enable self-management of aphasia therapy exercises for word finding: the patient and carer perspective.
- Kleim, J.A. and Jones, T.A. (2008) Principles of experience-dependent neural plasticity: Implications for rehabilitation after brain damage Supplement. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. 51:S225–S239
- McCall D. et al. (2009) Integrating technology and targeted treatment to improve narrative production in aphasia: A case study. Aphasiology, Vol 23, Issue 4.
- Jones A.B. (2016) Auditory Comprehension: From the Voice Up To The Single Word Level, Vol 1.