Original Research

Exploring the efficacy of melodic intonation therapy with Broca’s aphasia in Arabic

Khalid G. Al-Shdifat, Jawdat Sarsak, Fatoon A. Ghareeb
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 65, No 1 | a567 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v65i1.567 | © 2018 Khalid G. Al-Shdifat, Jawdat Sarsak, Fatoon Ghareeb | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 June 2017 | Published: 31 May 2018

About the author(s)

Khalid G. Al-Shdifat, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Jordan
Jawdat Sarsak, Amman Center for Speech-Language and Swallowing, Amman, Jordan
Fatoon A. Ghareeb, Amman Center for Speech-Language and Swallowing, Amman, Jordan


Background: Even though the efficacy of melodic intonation therapy (MIT) with persons with aphasia (PWA) has been explored in different languages, the efficacy of MIT with Arabic-speaking PWA has never been explored.


Aims: To explore the efficacy of MIT, adapted to Arabic, in promoting the expressive abilities of a 70-year-old Jordanian Arabic-speaking male subject with severe Broca’s aphasia 3 months post-onset.


Methods: An 8-week MIT therapy programme with tapping (1.5 h daily, 6 days a week) was used in a multiple baseline design across two types of trained phrases (i.e. automatic and self-generated phrases). Outcome measures included accuracy of production of trained (at the end of each session) and untrained phrases (at the end of each week). Pre- and post-treatment measures used, were the bilingual aphasia test, the American Speech-Language Hearing Association Functional Assessment of Communicative Skills, the communicative effectiveness index and the American Speech and Hearing Association Quality of Communication Life Scale. Accuracy of production for the trained and untrained phrases was also measured 2 weeks and 4 weeks after the treatment programme was finished.


Results: The patient, (MK), improved his expressive productions post-treatment in automatic and self-generated phrases. Automatic phrases exceeded the established 75% accuracy criterion, whereas the self-generated phrases reached criterion and remained constant at follow-up. Moreover, MK gradually started improving on the generalisation stimuli, once the treatment on the self-generated phrases started and maintained the gains 2 weeks and 4 weeks post-treatment.


Conclusion: MIT appears to be a viable treatment option for Jordanian Arabic-speaking persons with Broca’s aphasia. However, more research is needed with larger groups of Jordanian Arabic-speaking persons with Broca’s aphasia to provide more support to the present findings. Moreover, future studies might focus on the efficacy of MIT with persons with Broca’s aphasia from different Arab countries and from countries where Arabic is part of the multicultural structure like South Africa and other countries on the African continent.


Melodic Intonation Therapy; Arabic; Broca’s aphasia


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Crossref Citations

1. Melodic Intonation Therapy for Post-stroke Non-fluent Aphasia: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
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doi: 10.3389/fneur.2021.700115