Date of Award
Master of Science
Communication Disorders and Sciences
Abstract Background: Aphasia is a commonly treated language disorder; however there is discrepancy among professionals regarding classification and assessment practices (Code & Petheram, 2011; McNeil & Pratt, 2001). Current research focuses heavily on acute treatment; chronic aphasia is severely under-represented. A review of the literature revealed a wide array of standardized and non-standardized tests used to evaluate both acute and chronic aphasia cases. Overall, there appears to be variance in evaluation practices, especially among SLPs (Bland et al., 2013). Aims: The present study aims to quantify two variables that may account for this inconsistency in evaluation procedures: 1) years of clinical experience and 2) professional interest. Methods: SLPs with membership to either ASHA Special Interest Group 2 or the ABAI Speech-Pathology Interest Group were contacted to participate in a survey. They were presented with a demographic questionnaire and hypothetical vignettes detailing chronic aphasia cases. The data was collected through SurveyMonkey and exported to R for statistical analysis. Months of clinical experience were subsequently correlated to specific survey responses measuring the following variables: decision to reassess, decision of what clinical constructs to address, selection of assessments, and opinion regarding generalization of naming to functional requesting behavior. Results: Due to lack of participation, the professional interest variable was eliminated. A Spearman Rho test revealed statistical significance for 5 variables. The majority of participants supported reassessment, inclusion of functional assessments, and use of confrontational naming to target requesting. Further research is warranted on the subject, including possible development of a valid functional language assessment for chronic aphasia patients. Keywords: chronic aphasia, assessment, experience, professional interest, survey, functional behaviors
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