The effects of varying melodic intervals in melodic intonation therapy for persons with aphasia
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Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT) long has been a popular, evidence-based treatment for persons with non-fluent aphasia. While the contribution of rhythm within MIT has been frequently studied, little research has been completed to determine the role that melodic intervals (pitch) play in this therapy. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of using two different melodic intervals in MIT: the minor third (m3) and tritone. Participants were exposed to both intervals while participating in MIT across eight weeks. Spoken probe phrases were scored prior to, during, and after treatment to monitor progress for phrases intoned on each interval. An effect size was calculated for each interval using a formula created for single-subject, multiple baseline aphasia research studies. It was determined that the effect size for the tritone was greater than the effect size of the minor third for both participants. Due to COVID-19, treatment was completed via teletherapy, the first time such a method has been used to conduct an MIT treatment study. It was determined that MIT in this format did result in significant improvement in trained phrases, though no control group was used. Further research should be done to further evaluate the effects of various intervals within MIT, and the complex interaction between rhythm and pitch.
Thesis (M.A.)-- Wichita State University, College of Health Professions, Dept. of Communication Sciences and Disorders