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EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL AND REHABILITATION MEDICINE

A Journal on Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation after Pathological Events


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (SIMFER), European Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ESPRM), European Union of Medical Specialists - Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine Section (UEMS-PRM), Mediterranean Forum of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (MFPRM), Hellenic Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (EEFIAP)
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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2013 August;49(4):473-81

Copyright © 2013 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Action observation as a useful approach for enhancing recovery of verb production: new evidence from aphasia

Bonifazi S. 1, Tomaiuolo F. 2, Altoè G. 3, Ceravolo M. G. 1, Provinciali L. 1, Marangolo P. 4

1 Facoltà di Medicina, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy; 2 Unità Cerebrolesioni Acquisite, Auxilium Vitae Volterra, Pisa, Italy; 3 Dipartimento di Psicologia, Università di Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy; 4 IRCCS Fondazione Santa Lucia, Rome, Italy


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Backgrounds: Evidence exists that the observation of actions performed by others enhance word retrieval and can be used in aphasia rehabilitation to treat naming impairments.
Aim: The aim of the present study was to assess to what extent action observation treatment may improve verb retrieval in chronic aphasics.
Design: This was an observational study.
Setting: Patients were recruited from the Neurorehabilitation Centre of Ancona Hospital.
Population: Six aphasic patients underwent an intensive language training to improve verb naming.
Methods: Language evaluation was carried out before and after the treatment. A rehabilitation therapy based on observation of actions was administered daily to each patient for two consecutive weeks. Four different rehabilitation procedures were adopted: 1) “observation of action performed by the examiner”; 2) “observation and then execution of action”; 3) “observation of videoclips of actions”; and, as a control condition; 4) “observation of action and execution of meaningless movement”.
Results: In four participants, a significant improvement in verb retrieval was found for the three experimental procedures (χ2 (3)=75.212, P<0.0001), with respect to the control condition. No significant improvement was observed in the two patients with severe deficits in verb semantics (χ2 (3)=0.592, P=0.892).
Conclusions: Action observation therapy may become a useful intervention strategy to promote verb retrieval in aphasic patients.
Clinical Rehabilitation Impact: The observation of videoclips of actions may be an efficacious alternative approach to traditional rehabilitation programs for lexical deficits. This finding endorses the planning of innovative low-cost interventions in language rehabilitation.

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p.marangolo@univpm.it