The Efficacy and Timing of Melodic Intonation Therapy in Subacute Aphasia.
Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2014 Jan 20 ;28(6):536-544. Epub 2014 Jan 20. PMID: 24449708
Ineke van der Meulen
Background. Little is known about the efficacy of language production treatment in subacute severe nonfluent aphasia. Although Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT) is a language production treatment for this disorder, until now MIT effect studies have focused on chronic aphasia. Purpose. This study examines whether language production treatment with MIT is effective in subacute severe nonfluent aphasia. Methods. A multicenter, randomized controlled trial was conducted in a waiting-list control design: patients were randomly allocated to the experimental group (MIT) or the control group (control intervention followed by delayed MIT). In both groups, therapy started at 2 to 3 months poststroke and was given intensively (5 h/wk) during 6 weeks. In a second therapy period, the control group received 6 weeks of intensive MIT. The experimental group resumed their regular treatment. Assessment was done at baseline (T1), after the first intervention period (T2), and after the second intervention period (T3). Efficacy was evaluated at T2. The impact of delaying MIT on therapy outcome was also examined. Results. A total of 27 participants were included: n = 16 in the experimental group and n = 11 in the control group. A significant effect in favor of MIT on language repetition was observed for trained items, with mixed results for untrained items. After MIT there was a significant improvement in verbal communication but not after the control intervention. Finally, delaying MIT was related to less improvement in the repetition of trained material. Conclusions. In these patients with subacute severe nonfluent aphasia, language production treatment with MIT was effective. Earlier treatment may lead to greater improvement.