Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Communication Sciences & Disorders


The purpose of this study was to determine for aphasic adults the relationship between scores on the Western Aphasia Battery (WAB) and ratings of the Functional Independence Measure (FLM). Fourteen aphasic adults with a mean age of 71 years, participated in this study. Each subject was interviewed by the researcher. Their communication skills in the areas of verbal expression, written expression, auditory comprehension, and reading comprehension were then rated on the FIM. The researcher conducted interviews using the seven point ordinal scale of the FIM. with each subject’s speech-language pathologist and a family member about the subjects' communication skills. The researcher rated the subjects' communication skills on the FIM, based on these interviews. On a different occasion, the WAB was administered to each subject by either the researcher or the subject's speech-language pathologist.

Pearson Product Moment Correlation analyses were performed on all the numerical data. The results shov/ed significant positive relationships (pc.Ol) between verbal expression, auditory comprehension, written expression, and reading comprehension scores on the WAB and ratings of the FIM by the researcher and the speech-language pathologists. The verbal expression and written expression scores on the WAB were significantly correlated (p<.01) with the verbal expression and written expression ratings of the FIM by family members. Significant relationships (p<.01) were found among ratings of the FIM for verbal expression, written expression, and reading comprehension by the researcher and the speech-language pathologists.

The findings of the present study indicated that the WAB and the FIM are measuring similar aspects of communication. When the FIM is used in the same manner as the current study, there are high relationships for the four language modalities between the WAB and the FIM when scored by a speech-language pathologist. Therefore, the FIM appeared to be a valid tool to assess functional communication when rated by a speech-language pathologist. It 'was also found that speech-language pathologists and nonspeech-language pathologists differed in the way they rated four modalities of language on the FIM■ The researcher suggested that the FIM may be valuable for supplementing standardized aphasia tests and a useful clinical tool for conveying information to the family and team members.