SLP practice for right hemisphere stroke (Ramsey & Blake, 2020)

2020-04-24T21:02:22Z (GMT) by Ashley Ramsey Margaret Lehman Blake
Purpose: Limited evidence exists to guide the assessment and treatment of cognitive-communication disorders associated with right hemisphere stroke. The purpose of this study was to obtain information about speech-language pathologists’ (SLPs’) clinical practices and decision making for this population to understand what practices are being used and identify gaps in clinical practice.
Method: A survey was distributed via online ASHA Communities for the Special Interest Groups and other social media platforms. Respondents included 143 SLPs from across the United States representing 3–50 years of experience and a wide range of practice settings. Survey questions probed assessment practices including how tests are selected, what tests are used to diagnose specific deficits, and how confident SLPs were in their diagnoses. Treatment decisions were queried for a small set of disorders.
Results: SLPs routinely assess cognitive disorders using standardized tests. Communication disorders are less likely to be formally assessed. Three core right cerebral hemisphere deficits—anosognosia, aprosodia, and pragmatic deficits—are either not assessed or assessed only through observation by 80% of SLPs. Evidence-based treatments are commonly used for disorders of attention, awareness, and aprosodia.
Conclusion: Communication disorders are less likely to be formally assessed than cognitive disorders, creating a critical gap in care that cannot be filled by other allied health professionals. Suggestions for free or low-cost resources for evaluating pragmatics, prosody, and awareness are provided to aid SLPs in filling this gap.

Supplemental Material S1. Assessments included in the survey.

Ramsey, A., & Blake, M. L. (2020). Speech-language pathology practices for adults with right hemisphere stroke: What are we missing? American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Advance online publication.