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Generalization in aphasia treatment (Mayer et al., 2024)

Version 2 2024-01-12, 23:32
Version 1 2023-12-05, 22:10
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posted on 2024-01-12, 23:32 authored by Jamie F. Mayer, Elizabeth B. Madden, Jennifer Mozeiko, Laura L. Murray, Janet Patterson, Mary Purdy, Chaleece W. Sandberg, Sarah E. Wallace

Purpose: Generalization has been defined and instantiated in a variety of ways over the last half-century, and this lack of consistency has created challenges for speech-language pathologists to plan for, implement, and measure generalization in aphasia treatment protocols. This tutorial provides an overview of generalization with a focus on how it relates to aphasia intervention, including a synthesis of existing principles of generalization and examples of how these can be embedded in approaches to aphasia treatment in clinical and research settings.

Method: Three articles collectively listing 20 principles of generalization formed the foundation for this tutorial. The seminal work of Stokes and Baer (1977) focused attention on generalization in behavioral change following treatment. Two aphasia-specific resources identified principles of generalization in relation to aphasia treatment (Coppens & Patterson, 2018; Thompson, 1989). A selective literature review was conducted to identify evidence-based examples of each of these 20 principles from the extant literature.

Results: Five principles of generalization were synthesized from the original list of 20. Each principle was supported by studies drawn from the aphasia treatment literature to exemplify its application.

Conclusions: Generalization is an essential aspect of meaningful aphasia intervention. Successful generalization requires the same dedication to strategic planning and outcome measurement as the direct training aspect of intervention. Although not all people with aphasia are likely to benefit equally from each of the principles reviewed herein, our synthesis provides information to consider for maximizing generalization of aphasia treatment outcomes.

Supplemental Material S1. Checklist for identifying treatment, acquisition, and generalization targets and implementing principles of acquisition and generalization: blank version for SLP use.

Supplemental Material S2. Compilation of generalization principles identified in three resources.

Mayer, J. F., Madden, E. B., Mozeiko, J., Murray, L. L., Patterson, J. P., Purdy, M., Sandberg, C. W., & Wallace, S. E. (2024). Generalization in aphasia treatment: A tutorial for speech-language pathologists. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 33(1), 57–73.