Title

A Comparison of Scores for Adults with Aphasia on the Western Aphasia Battery and Ratings on the Functional Assessment of Communcation Skills for Adults

Date of Award

5-1-1997

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Communication Sciences & Disorders

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine for adults with aphasia the relationship between scores on the Western Aphasia Battery (WAB) and ratings on the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Functional Assessment of Communication Skids for Adults (ASHA FACS).

Sixteen subjects who had previously incurred a left cerebral vascular accident participated in this study including seven adults with nonfluent aphasia and nine adults with fluent aphasia. Each subject was administered the WAB and rated on the ASHA FACS within a two week period in 1997. Subjects ranged in jage from 60 to 91 years with a mean age of 78.44 years.

Data consisted of scores for each subject on the WAB and the FACS. WAB subtests included Spontaneous Speech, Auditory Comprehension, Naming, and Repetition. The WAB Aphasia Quotient was also calculated for each subject. The domains on the FACS included Social Communication, Communication of Basic Needs, Reading/Writing/Number Concepts, and Daily Planning. The Overall Communication Independence Mean Score (OC1MS) was also calculated for each subject uoon completion of the FACS. The data were analyzed using the Pearson Product Moment Correlation Analyses. Ten analyses of variance were performed to determine if any significant differences existed between individuals with nonfluent aphasia as compared to individuals with fluent aphasia for their scores on the WAB and their ratings on the FACS.

Based on the results of this study, it was found that individuals with nonfluent aphasia and individuals with iluent aphasia differed significantly in their scores only for the spontaneous speech subtest on the WAB. Adults with fluent aphasia consistently displayed numerically higher mean scores for every subtest of the WAB and domain of the ASHA FACS than those subjects with nonfluent aphasia. Scores for individuals with nonfluent aphasia on the FACS domains of Social Communication, Daily Planning, and the Overall Communication Independence Score (OC1MS) are strong indicators of language comprehension and production as well as overall language impairment as measured by the WAB on the subtests of Spontaneous Speech, Auditory Comprehension, Repetition, Naming, and the Aphasia Quotient (AQ). Scores for individuals with fluent aphasia on the FACS domains of Social Communication, Communication of Basic Needs, Reading/Writing/Number Concepts, and Daily Planning as well as the OCIMS are strong indicators of language comprehension and production as measured by the WAB on all subtests as well as the AQ. The OCIMS generated on the FACS is strongly related to and is a good predictor of level of language impairment as measured by the AQ on the WAB for both subject groups in this study.

The ASHA FACS is an effective tool for measuring the level of functional communication independence when it is used for adults with aphasia and rated by a speech-language pathologist. Although the authors of the FACS did not claim to measure language competencies in individuals with aphasia, the findings of this study indicate that the FACS does, indeed, assess some of those same language competencies assessed by the WAB and found to be important to functional communication.

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