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Stability of a Functional Measure of Word Retrieval in Narrative Discourse

Boyle, Mary
Stability of a Functional Measure of Word Retrieval in Narrative Discourse. In Clinical Aphasiology Conference: Clinical Aphasiology Conference (2012 : 42nd : Lake Tahoe, CA : May 20-25, 2012) / : (2012).

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Abstract

Interest in the ability of people with aphasia to communicate in natural contexts has resulted in examination of their discourse production. There is an expectation that changes in discourse production may reflect meaningful treatment-related changes. In a recent special issue of Aphasiology, Wright (2011) stated that it is clinically important for researchers to establish clinician friendly, reliable, and valid methods for analyzing discourse in order to quantify meaningful changes. An important part of this endeavor requires assessment of the stability of such methods. This is important for a number of reasons. Currently, clinical researchers often analyze discourse production only once prior to treatment and again at the end of treatment. This is a risky practice unless the stability of the discourse measurement is known a priori. If the stability is not known, there is no way that change in discourse can be attributed to the treatment with any degree of confidence unless multiple pre-treatment measurements are collected and analyzed. Additionally, if the discourse measurements are not relatively stable before treatment, a relatively large treatment effect may be necessary to demonstrate that change is related to treatment and not to the normal variability of the measurement. Because this may prove to be challenging, a more strategic approach might be to use a measurement that is relatively stable before treatment. Finally, apart from treatment, the issue of stability of discourse measurements is also important if those measurements are used to describe and analyze aspects of an individual’s language impairment. If a measurement is not reasonably stable from session to session, it will probably not contribute to a valid assessment of the individual’s impairment.

EPrint Type:Clinical Aphasiology Paper
Subjects:UNSPECIFIED
ID Code:2381
Conference:Clinical Aphasiology Conference: Clinical Aphasiology Conference (2012 : 42nd : Lake Tahoe, CA : May 20-25, 2012)