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Fluency in aphasia scoping review (Cordella et al., 2024)

posted on 2024-04-23, 18:40 authored by Claire Cordella, Lauren Di Filippo, Vijaya B. Kolachalama, Swathi Kiran

Purpose: Speech fluency has important diagnostic implications for individuals with poststroke aphasia (PSA) as well as primary progressive aphasia (PPA), and quantitative assessment of connected speech has emerged as a widely used approach across both etiologies. The purpose of this review was to provide a clearer picture on the range, nature, and utility of individual quantitative speech/language measures and methods used to assess connected speech fluency in PSA and PPA, and to compare approaches across etiologies.

Method: We conducted a scoping review of literature published between 2012 and 2022 following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Extension for Scoping Reviews guidelines. Forty-five studies were included in the review. Literature was charted and summarized by etiology and characteristics of included patient populations and method(s) used for derivation and analysis of speech/language features. For a subset of included articles, we also charted the individual quantitative speech/language features reported and the level of significance of reported results.

Results: Results showed that similar methodological approaches have been used to quantify connected speech fluency in both PSA and PPA. Two hundred nine individual speech-language features were analyzed in total, with low levels of convergence across etiology on specific features but greater agreement on the most salient features. The most useful features for differentiating fluent from nonfluent aphasia in both PSA and PPA were features related to overall speech quantity, speech rate, or grammatical competence.

Conclusions: Data from this review demonstrate the feasibility and utility of quantitative approaches to index connected speech fluency in PSA and PPA. We identified emergent trends toward automated analysis methods and data-driven approaches, which offer promising avenues for clinical translation of quantitative approaches. There is a further need for improved consensus on which subset of individual features might be most clinically useful for assessment and monitoring of fluency.

Supplemental Material S1. Final syntax used to search individual databases.

Supplemental Material S2. Data extraction template used to chart four main data items for all included studies.

Supplemental Material S3. Data extraction template used to chart three additional data items, for included studies that reported individual feature results from a null-hypothesis statistical test.

Supplemental Material S4. Superordinate categories used (where reported) by author groups to categorize individual features.

Supplemental Material S5. Use and significance level per quantitative feature for all studies (n = 33) included in individual feature subanalysis.

Supplemental Material S6. A full list of all verbatim features, manual renaming, and category assignment for each individual feature.

Cordella, C., Di Filippo, L., Kolachalama, V. B., & Kiran, S. (2024). Connected speech fluency in poststroke and progressive aphasia: A scoping review of quantitative approaches and features. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Advance online publication.


This work was funded by National Institutes of Health Grant F32DC020342 (awarded to C.C.).