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Towards a description of clinical communication impairment profiles following right-hemisphere damage

Cote, Helen and Payer, Melissa and Giroux, Francine and Joanette, Yves
Towards a description of clinical communication impairment profiles following right-hemisphere damage . Aphasiology, 21(6-8), August, 2007, pages 739-749.


Background: It is estimated that approximately 50% of individuals who incur right-hemisphere damage (RHD) have subsequent communication disorders. Lexical-semantic, discourse, prosodic, and pragmatic deficits have been reported following RHD, but the co-occurrence of these deficits within the same individual has not yet been systematically investigated. Therefore clinical profiles of communication impairments in individuals with RHD still have to be identified and described in order to appreciate their communication impairment and provide strategies for rehabilitation.

Aims: The goal of the present study was to explore the clinical profiles of communication impairments subsequent to a right hemisphere lesion.

Methods and Procedures: A total of 28 French-speaking individuals with a right-hemisphere lesion were evaluated using the Protocole MEC (Joanette, Ska, & Cocircteacute, 2004), a normalised battery allowing the assessment of communication deficits after RHD. A hierarchical cluster analysis was used to group participants according to similarities in their results on the 14 tasks.

Outcomes and Results: Four subgroups of RHD individuals were identified on the basis of the overall similarities of performance on the 14 tasks of the Protocole MEC. Participants in the first cluster showed impairments in all four language components evaluated, whereas the second cluster of participants was also impaired in prosodic, lexical-semantic, and pragmatic abilities, but was characterised by a relative preservation of discourse abilities. The third cluster of participants did not show any abnormal results. Finally, two individuals were mainly characterised by some lexical-semantic deficits.

Conclusions: The Protocole MEC used in conjunction with a cluster analysis provided a first step towards the identification of communication impairment profiles among the population of individuals with RHD. In the present study it was not possible to clearly identify the relationship between a given profile and factors such as lesion site, age, or education. Incidence of communication impairments was estimated to be higher in a rehabilitation centre setting than the generally accepted 50% in the literature.

EPrint Type:Journal (Paginated)
ID Code:1788
Conference:Clinical Aphasiology Conference: Clinical Aphasiology Conference (2006 : 36th : Ghent, Belgium : May 29-June 2, 2006)
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
Alternative Locations:
DOI or Unique Handle:10.1080/02687030701192331