Text level reading comprehension in persons with aphasia: Model-based diagnostics and strategy-based intervention

[Translate to English:] Textverständnisstörungen bei Aphasie

PhD project by Sarah-Maria Thumbeck

I focus on text level reading comprehension in persons with aphasia. Currently, I am planning the study “Efficacy of a Strategy-Based Intervention on Text Level Reading Comprehension in Persons with Aphasia: A Waiting Phase Controlled Pre-Post Study”. It is registered on DRKS.


Short description of the study

Acquired brain injury as caused by stroke can result in a variety of language difficulties including aphasia. With aphasia, it may be difficult to understand texts such as letters, e-mails or books. Current research does not allow sound conclusions about the effectivity of different treatments by speech and language pathologists. However, there are indications that specific reading strategies may help to improve text comprehension.
In this study, the effects of a waiting period and of two different combinations of reading strategy interventions will be compared. 24 adults with aphasia will participate in a waiting period without aphasia therapy and in 14 treatment sessions. Each session lasts one hour. Seven of these sessions will focus on the comprehension of details and the remainder on the text’s main information. Participants must have had (residual) aphasia for at least three months, be at least 18 years old, speak German as their native language and have problems with reading and understanding texts. Participation is not open to those experiencing reading difficulties prior to the onset of aphasia or with any disease that results in decreasing or fluctuating language or cognition. Before and after each treatment period, text comprehension and reading activities will be examined. We will investigate whether therapy will result in larger improvements than no therapy, and whether there will be strategy-specific effects on reading comprehension. We expect that strategy-based interventions will cause stronger improvements than no therapy and that there will be strategy-specific effects on different text comprehension processes. Furthermore, we expect that participants’ everyday reading activities will improve following the interventions.