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Effect of Verb Network Strengthening Treatment (VNeST) in Persons With Aphasia

posted on 01.05.2014, 00:00 by Lisa A. Edmonds, Kevin Mammino, Jimena Ojeda
Purpose Verb Network Strengthening Treatment (VNeST) is an aphasia treatment that targets verbs (e.g., measure) and their related thematic roles (e.g., carpenterlumber). Previous studies reported encouraging results in a number of participants using single-subject design with improvements observed on naming, sentence production, and discourse. The purpose of the current study was to conduct a group analysis evaluating the effect of VNeST on similar outcomes.
Method A multiple baseline design across participants was conducted with 11 persons with aphasia due to stroke. Wilcoxon signed-ranks tests were used to evaluate potential improvement from pre- to posttreatment and maintenance. Individual effect sizes were also calculated to evaluate magnitude of change within and across participants.
Results Results showed significant improvement at posttreatment and maintenance on trained and untrained sentence probes and object and action naming. Improvement in the production of sentences not targeted in treatment was nonsignificant at posttreatment assessment but significant at maintenance. Moderate increases in percentage of complete utterances and overall informativeness were observed on discourse.
Conclusion The results of this study replicate previous findings and provide evidence that VNeST may promote specific and generalized lexical retrieval abilities and affect basic syntax production in both constrained and discourse production tasks.


This work was supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, Rehabilitation Research and Development Grant 1I01RX000563-01 (to Lisa A. Edmonds). We acknowledge the research participants and their families for their enthusiasm and motivation throughout. We also extend our thanks to the following collaborators, research assistants, and clinicians in the Aphasia Lab at the Brain Rehabilitation and Research Center at the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center and Brooks Rehabilitation in Jacksonville, FL: Sam Wu, Jodi Morgan, Ceil Brooks, Brayleah Kernan, Flo Singletary, and Carolyn Hanson.