Title

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

Date of Award

7-1-1998

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Communication Sciences & Disorders

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between scores on the WAB and ratings on the ASHA Functional Assessment of Communication Skills for Adults (ASHA FACS1 for adults with aphasia. Twenty subjects with aphasia participated in this study with a mean age of 66 years. The ASHA FACS was completed through an interview format with the speech-language pathologist who was familiar- with the subject. On a different occasion, the WAB was administered to each subject.

A simple Analysis of Variance showed significant differences between the fluent and nonfluent subjects on all subtests of the WAB and ASHA FACS. All of the analyses were significant at or beyond the .05 level of confidence.

Pearson Product Moment Correlation analyses were performed for individuals with fluent and nonfluent aphasia. The results, for individuals with fluent aphasia showed significant positive relationships (of at least p<.05) for auditory verbal comprehension on the WAB and the domains of communication of basic needs, daily planning and the overall qualitative dimension mean score (OQDMS) on the ASHA FACS. Significant positive relationships (of at least p<.05) were also found between the naming subtest of the WAB and the domains of communication of basic needs, daily planning and the OQDMS on the ASHA FACS for individuals with fluent aphasia. A significant positive relationship (pc.Ol) was found between the aphasia quotient on the WAB and the OQDMS on the ASHA FACS. No other subtests were found to reveal a significant relationship at the .05 level.

Pearson Product Moment Correlations analyses for subjects with nonfluent aphasia on the WAB and ASHA FACS revealed a significant negative relationship between the subtest of spontaneous speech on the WAB and the domains of communication of basic needs and reading, writing, and number concepts on the ASHA FACS. A significant negative relationship was also found for the subtest of auditory verbal comprehension on the WAB and the OQDMS on the ASHA FACS. No other significant correlations were found between the subtests of either measure at the .05 level of significance.

These findings revealed that both of the assessment tools, the WAB and the ASHA FACS, were assessing similar levels or communication for the individuals with fluent and nonfluent aphasia. Also, the ASHA FACS was able to differentiate between subjects with fluent and nonfluent aphasia, although it could not distinguish between the subtypes of aphasia within each category. The scores obtained by individuals with fluent aphasia reflect their ability, although impaired to communicate through all the modalities of speaking, reading, writing and gesturing. Individuals with nonfluent aphasia scored poorly on the subtests of the WAB that required a verbal response, but were rated higher on tasks of functional communication on the ASHA FACS. Since several modalities of communication, other than speech, are acceptable on the ASHA FACS, subjects with nonfluent aphasia were rated higher.

This investigation found that the ASHA FACS was a useful instrument of functional communication in that it may provide clinicians with information not captured by traditional assessment tools.

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