Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2023

Document Type

Thesis (699 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Joni Mehrhoff


Verbal Fluency, Parkinson's Disease, Speech-Language Therapy, Executive Functions


Verbal fluency (VF) tasks are well-established and widely used tools in clinical assessment and research settings to evaluate executive functioning skills. They consist of verbally generating as many different items as possible that either begin with a specified letter (i.e., phonemic) or belong to a category (i.e., semantic) within 60 seconds. Due to deficits in executive functioning, individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD) have increased difficulty with phonemic compared to semantic fluency. Although VF tasks are commonly used as intervention tools within speech-language pathology clinical practice, there is limited research investigating their therapeutic benefit. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a VF task intervention program at rehabilitating VF performances of an individual with PD. Additionally, this study investigated any effects of intervention on other measures of executive functioning. A quasi-experimental, pretest/posttest design was used. The 10-session intervention period focused on teaching and practicing the clustering and switching approach to VF tasks. Results revealed no significant changes in VF performances after intervention. Significant changes to other executive functioning measures validate the need for further investigation into VF tasks as therapeutic tools.



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