Innovative technology-based interventions in aphasia rehabilitation: a systematic review

Claudia Repetto, Maria Paola Paolillo, Cosimo Tuena, Francesca Bellinzona, Giuseppe Riva

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: In the last decades technologies have started to be integrated into language rehabilitation, but more recently many innovations have been included in the health field, especially the use of virtual reality (VR) and mobile devices. Aim: The present review aims to investigate the use and efficacy of innovative technology-based interventions for language rehabilitation in post-stroke patients. We consider innovative technologies as those implementing either virtual reality or mobile software applications. Methods: For conducting this systematic review, we conformed to the PRISMA guidelines. The articles were selected by computer-based searches in three high-profile databases: PubMed, PsycINFO, and Web of Science. 13 studies met the inclusion criteria. Studies were also rated along the efficacy-effectiveness spectrum (RITES). Main Contribution: Most of studies used a tablet to deliver the therapy, and only a few of them implemented VR-based treatments. Despite the paucity of literature, the results were encouraging, and showed efficacy and effectiveness of rehabilitation programs based on innovative technologies. Moreover, patients appeared compliant to treatments. Conclusions: In future studies, more robust research designs should be implemented with larger sample sizes, more homogenous samples, and comparisons with “treatment-as-usual” control conditions. Finally, we suggest an innovative use of VR for language rehabilitation within an embodied cognition approach.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Aphasia
  • mobile app
  • new technologies
  • rehabilitation
  • virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • LPN and LVN


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