The ScreeLing: Occurrence of linguistic deficits in acute aphasia post-stroke
Hanane El Hachioui, Mieke W.M.E van de Sandt-Koenderman, Diederik W.J. Dippel, Peter J. Koudstaal, Evy G. Visch-Brink
Objective: To investigate the occurrence of semantic, phonological and syntactic deficits in acute aphasia with the ScreeLing after the establishment of its psychometric properties. To examine the relationship between these deficits and: (i) overall aphasia severity; and (ii) quality of Spontaneous Speech.
Methods: The reliability and validity of the ScreeLing was established by investigating 141 subjects with acute aphasia (2 weeks after stroke), 23 with chronic aphasia, and 138 healthy controls. In addition, the acute patients were assessed with the Token Test and a Spontaneous Speech rating (Aphasia Severity Rating Scale).
Results: The ScreeLing was found to be valid and reliable for assessing the presence and severity of aphasia and linguistic deficits at 12 days after stroke. In 22.4% of the patients deficits were found in only 1 of the 3 linguistic levels; phonology was most frequently disturbed (16.3%), compared with semantics (2.7%), and syntax (3.4%). The number of impaired linguistic levels was related to aphasia severity: patients with a 3-level disorder had the lowest Token Test scores; patients with a selective phonological disorder had the highest Spontaneous Speech ratings. Phonology alone explained 54.6% of the variance in the Spontaneous Speech rating.
Conclusion: In the acute stage, linguistic-level deficits are already present independently of each other, with phonology affected most frequently.
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