Computers in Aphasia Rehabilitation
This chapter attempts to examine computer-based aphasia therapy with respect to its possibilities for training, efficacy, and role in a comprehensive therapy plan. After presenting the Lingware-STACH therapy system developed in Bonn, Germany, a review of the literature establishes the efficacy of aphasia therapy in general as a basis for examining the efficacy of supplementary computer-based therapy. With this background, a report on a randomized multicenter therapy study with 156 aphasic patients is given. The results show specific, significant supplementary effects brought about by computer training; for Instance, in written language performance per aphasic syndrome and Individual patients. Open questions, particularly with regard to the effects of aphasia therapy on communicative behavior, are discussed. Standardized tests measure the progress of therapy in language modalities, but do not sufficiently assess improvements relevant to daily living. In this connection the objectives and approaches in aphasia therapy, particularly symptom-oriented versus holistic, are reconsidered. On the basis of a therapy trial, suggestions are made for establishing integrated therapy plans and new evaluation schemes based on conversational analysis.
Computer-based techniques are being increasingly implemented in neuropsychological rehabilitation. For the training of basic functions such as attention, visual discrimination, spatial and sequential memory, as well as the treatment of hemianopia, computers present new