An exploration of factors affecting performance by adults with aphasia on a functional communication task
Griffith, Luke Marcus
MetadataShow full item record
In traditional aphasia testing and treatment, clinicians administer a standardized aphasia test that measures language impairment, followed by a linguistic approach to treatment. Many clinicians have argued the need for emphasis on functional communication, and third party payers desire functional information to determine patient progress. This study explores several characteristics of a functional communication task, the Catalog Ordering Task (COT) (Hinckley et al. 2001), to better understand factors affecting aphasia patients' performance on two forms of the task. The COT requires patients to order from a catalog, interacting with a clinician playing a telephone-based catalog worker. Two forms of the COT, "Long" and "Short", vary in length and complexity of stimulus items. Data from an already existing dataset was analyzed. Thirty-nine participants (32 male, 7 female) with aphasia (primarily non-fluent) each completed two forms ofthe COT. Mean age was 52.2 years (range= 18-85); average time post-onset was 27.9 months (range 4-102). Age, Socioeconomic Status, Time Post-Onset, Aphasia Type, and Fluency were not significant predictors of COT performance. Gender was a small but reliable (R Squared =.09, p=.0544) predictor of Long COT scores only. Severity did reliably explain about 30% of variance on both Long and Short COTs. Scores on a single-word auditory comprehension test reliably predicted both Long and Short COT scores, while sentence-based auditory comprehension scores were not significant predictors. Longer items with single or double-focus questions (Long version) were paired with elliptical versions ofthe same questions (Short version). T-tests showed no difference between scores on Long and Short versions of the COT. However, item analysis revealed that patients performed significantly lower on longer, double-focus questions. Compound syntax did not pose a problem in the short version, but longer sentences combined with compound syntax were more difficult than longer sentences with simple syntax, or elliptical sentences with compound syntax.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University PLEASE NOTE: Boston University Libraries did not receive an Authorization To Manage form for this thesis or dissertation. It is therefore not openly accessible, though it may be available by request. If you are the author or principal advisor of this work and would like to request open access for it, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.