Interventions for apraxia of speech following stroke

No evidence was found for the treatment of apraxia of speech, a communication disorder that can affect stroke patients. Patients with apraxia of speech know what they want to say, but are unable to carry out the speech movements due to their inability to programme the required sequence. For example, a patient may be able to say goodbye when leaving someone (automatic), but not when asked to say goodbye out of context (volitional). Several types of treatment interventions have been identified; however, we were unable to find any clinical trials of these.

Authors' conclusions: 

There is no evidence from randomised trials to support or refute the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions for apraxia of speech. There is a need for high quality randomised trials to be undertaken in this area.

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Background: 

Apraxia of speech is a communication disorder that can affect stroke patients. Several different intervention strategies are undertaken by speech and language therapists working with this patient group.

Objectives: 

To assess whether therapeutic interventions improve functional speech in stroke patients with apraxia of speech and which individual therapeutic interventions are effective.

Search strategy: 

We searched the Cochrane Stroke Group Trials Register (searched May 2004). In addition, we searched the following databases: the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (The Cochrane Library Issue 4, 2003); MEDLINE (1966 to April 2004); EMBASE (1980 to April 2004); CINAHL (1982 to April 2004); PsycINFO (1974 to April 2004); the National Research Register (searched April 2004); and Current Controlled Trials Register (searched May 2004). We reviewed reference lists of relevant articles and contacted authors and researchers in an effort to identify published and unpublished trials.

Selection criteria: 

We sought to include randomised controlled trials of non-drug interventions for adults with apraxia of speech following a stroke where the primary outcome was functional speech at six months follow up.

Data collection and analysis: 

One author searched the titles, abstracts and keywords. Two authors examined the abstracts that might meet the inclusion criteria. Four authors were available to assess trial quality and to extract data from eligible studies.

Main results: 

No trials were identified.

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