This is the first single-authored book to attempt to bridge the gap between aphasia research and the rehabilitation of patients with this language disorder. Studies of the deficits underlying aphasia and the practice of aphasia rehabilitation have often diverged, and the relationship between theory and practice in aphasiology is loose. The goal of this book is to help close this gap by making explicit the relationship between what is to be rehabilitated and how to rehabilitate it.
Early chapters cover the history of aphasia and its therapy from Broca's discoveries to the 1970s, and provide a description of the classic aphasia syndromes. The middle section describes the contribution of cognitive neuropsychology and the treatment models it has inspired. It includes discussion of the relationship between the treatment approach and the functional model upon which it is based. The final chapters deal with aphasia therapy. After providing a sketch of a working theory of aphasia, Basso describes intervention procedures for disorders resulting from damage at the lexical and sentence levels as well as a more general conversation-based intervention for severe aphasics.
Anna Basso has run an aphasia rehabilitation unit for more than thirty years. In this book she draws on her considerable experience to provide researchers, clinicians, and their students and trainees in speech-language pathology and therapy, aphasiology, and neuropsychology with comprehensive coverage of the evolution and state of the art of aphasia research and therapy.
Reviewer:Shelley B. Brundage, Ph.D., CCC-S, BRS-FD(George Washington University)
Description:This book covers three main topics: a review of the history of aphasiology, explanations of how principles from cognitive neuropsychology influence aphasia treatment, and descriptions of treatments for specific language disorders associated with aphasia syndromes. The book is evenly balanced between theory and treatment because the author believes strongly that, "theoretical knowledge is necessary for treating patients" (p. x).
Purpose:The author's stated purpose is to "help bridge the gap between aphasia research and therapy by pointing out their relationship." The author spends relatively more time describing studies of language disorders associated with the aphasias, and relatively less time discussing clinical research methods. The author takes the reader through various classification systems for the aphasias and then discusses existing treatments that fit each classification. The lack of information on clinical research methods is surprising, given the author's extensive, clinically-based research work.
Audience:This is a theory-based book on aphasia treatment by a distinguished and respected aphasiologist. The author specifies two intended audiences: clinicians and researchers and the book is appropriate for both. Additionally, it is well-suited to doctoral level coursework on aphasia for students in the speech and hearing sciences and neuropsychology.
Features:The book contains a highly readable history of aphasiology and aphasia classification systems. The chapter on treatment efficacy is unbiased and detailed. The author describes problems in the efficacy literature and makes reasonable summary statements about the literature as a whole. The treatment chapters provide many references for the interested clinician/researcher and there are examples of treatment activities for each language disorder covered in the book. The reference list is extensive and the index is useful. The book contains few illustrations and diagrams.
Assessment:This is an excellent book for clinicians and/or researchers who already have a background in aphasia. It is well written, drawing the reader in and holding the reader's attention. This book differs from many other published works on aphasia and aphasia treatment -- it focuses more than others on the theoretical background for aphasia treatment.