Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

An Integrated Approach for Treating Discourse in Aphasia

Bridging the Gap Between Language Impairment and Functional Communication

Milman, Lisa

doi: 10.1097/TLD.0000000000000076
Original Articles

Purpose: A primary goal of aphasia intervention is to improve everyday communication. Although a large body of research focuses on treatment generalization, transfer of learning to real-world interactions involving discourse does not always occur. The goal of an integrated discourse treatment for aphasia (IDTA) approach is to facilitate such generalization. This article reviews generalization data from a series of four closely related IDTA studies.

Method: Treatment in all studies (two case reports and two single subject experimental designs) followed a problem-based learning model targeting word retrieval, sentence processing, and discourse production.

Results: Seven of eight participants acquired the target vocabulary and sentence structures. In addition, generalization was evident for most participants on related linguistic structures, standardized tests of language and cognition, and/or measures of spoken discourse production.

Conclusions: Findings add to previous research supporting an IDTA approach to improving discourse in persons with aphasia. Participant characteristics and properties of outcome measures associated with these results are also discussed.

Department of Communicative Disorders & Deaf Education, Utah State University, Logan.

Corresponding Author: Lisa Milman, PhD, Department of Communicative Disorders & Deaf Education, Utah State University, 1000 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322 (

This paper summarizes and discusses the findings of four related studies, which were conducted/presented/published by the author. A portion of this work was supported by a private endowment to advance aphasia treatment research at Ohio State University. The author was an employee at Ohio State University and at Utah State University when this research was conducted. There are no other financial disclosures associated with publication of this work.

The author has indicated that she has no additional financial or nonfinancial relationships to disclose.

Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.