The National Center for Evidence-Based Practice
in Communication Disorders
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Summary of Systematic Review

Intensity of Aphasia Therapy: Evidence and Efficacy
Cherney, L. R., Patterson, J. P., et al. (2011).
Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports, 11(6), 560-9.
This review meets the criteria for a high-quality evidence-based systematic review.
Indicators of Review Quality:
The review states a clearly focused question or aim Yes*
Criteria for inclusion of studies are provided Yes*
Search strategy is described in sufficient detail for replication Yes*
Included studies are assessed for study quality Yes
Quality assessments are reproducible Yes
Characteristics of the included studies are provided Yes

*Based on inclusion/exclusion and search parameters used in original systematic review by Cherney et al., 2008.

This is an update of a systematic review (Cherney et al., 2008) investigating the impact of treatment intensity on language and communication outcomes for individuals with stroke-induced aphasia.

Question(s)/Aim(s) Addressed:
What is the influence of treatment intensity on measures of language impairment and communication activity/participation for individuals with stroke-induced chronic and acute aphasia?

Individuals with acute or chronic aphasia.

speech and language treatment

Number of Studies Included:

Years Included:

  • Service Delivery
    • Dosage
      • The updated review identified three new studies pertaining to intensity of aphasia treatment. In the previous review, results from one study favored more intensive treatment for measures of language impairment in individuals with acute aphasia. An additional study from this review reported equivocal results. However, the authors indicated that many of the participants did not receive the intensive amount of treatment suggesting that intensive treatment may not be feasible in the early stage of recovery.
      • No studies examining activity/participation communication outcomes in individuals with acute aphasia were found. In the previous review, results from five studies favored more intensive treatment over less intensive treatment for improving language impairment outcomes for individuals with chronic aphasia. In the current review, three additional studies provided mixed results.
      • Findings remain mixed for communication outcomes at the level of activity/participation for individuals with chronic aphasia.
      • Further methodologically sound research is warranted.

Sponsoring Body:
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

Keywords: Aphasia, Stroke