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Communication in progressive AOS and aphasia (Utianski et al., 2020)

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posted on 2020-08-05, 23:15 authored by Rene L. Utianski, Heather M. Clark, Joseph R. Duffy, Hugo Botha, Jennifer L. Whitwell, Keith A. Josephs
Purpose: Individuals with primary progressive apraxia of speech (AOS) have AOS in which disruptions in articulation and prosody predominate the speech pattern. Many develop aphasia and/or dysarthria later in the disease course. The aim of this study was to describe the communication limitations in these patients, as measured by (a) the patient via the Communicative Participation Item Bank (CPIB) and (b) the speech-language pathologist via the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s (ASHA) Functional Communication Measures (FCMs) and an adapted motor speech disorder (MSD) severity rating.
Method: Speech and language evaluations were completed for 24 patients with progressive AOS (n = 7 with isolated AOS; n = 17 with a combination of AOS and aphasia). Descriptive comparisons were utilized to evaluate differences in communication measures among patients with various combinations of MSDs and aphasia. Differences associated with phonetic predominant or prosodic predominant AOS were also examined. Across the entire cohort, correlations were calculated between the participation ratings and other clinical assessment measures.
Results: The CPIB reflected greater limitations for those with aphasia and AOS compared to isolated AOS, but was not notably different when dysarthria occurred with AOS (n = 9/24). Across the cohort, there were statistically significant correlations between the CPIB and ASHA FCM–Motor Speech and Language Expression ratings and the MSD severity rating. The CPIB did not correlate with the ASHA FCM–Language Comprehension or other speech-language measures.
Conclusions: Patients with neurodegenerative AOS experience reduced participation in communication that is further exacerbated by co-occurring language deficits. The study suggests measures of severity cannot be assumed to correlate with measures of participation restrictions and offers a foundation for further research examining the day-to-day sequela of progressive speech and language disorders.

Supplemental Materials S1 and S2. Additional visualization of data, using raw scores.

Utianski, R. L., Clark, H. M., Duffy, J. R., Botha, H., Whitwell, J. L., & Josephs, K. A. (2020). Communication limitations in patients with progressive apraxia of speech and aphasia. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Advance online publication.


This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grants R01 DC014942 (PI: Josephs) and R01 DC012519 (PI: Whitwell).