Evaluating single-subject treatment research: Lessons learned from the aphasia literature

Pélagie M. Beeson, Randall R. Robey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

416 Scopus citations


The mandate for evidence-based practice has prompted careful consideration of the weight of the scientific evidence regarding the therapeutic value of various clinical treatments. In the field of aphasia, a large number of single-subject research studies have been conducted, providing clinical outcome data that are potentially useful for clinicians and researchers; however, it has been difficult to discern the relative potency of these treatments in a standardized manner. In this paper we describe an approach to quantify treatment outcomes for single-subject research studies using effect sizes. These values provide a means to compare treatment outcomes within and between individuals, as well as to compare the relative strength of various treatments. Effect sizes also can be aggregated in order to conduct meta-analyses of specific treatment approaches. Consideration is given to optimizing research designs and providing adequate data so that the value of treatment research is maximized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-169
Number of pages9
JournalNeuropsychology Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2006


  • Effect size
  • Evidence based practice
  • Meta-analysis
  • Outcomes
  • Rehabilitation
  • Stroke
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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