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Two-year evaluation of community aphasia center (Edmonds & Morgan, 2022)

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posted on 2022-10-19, 18:50 authored by Lisa A. Edmonds, Jodi Morgan

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate potential changes on a hierarchy of language tasks and measures of functional communication and quality of life in a group of people with aphasia (PWA) who attended a community aphasia center for 2 years. A secondary purpose was to determine whether there were any predictors of change.

Method: Twenty-seven PWA who attended Brooks Rehabilitation Aphasia Center (BRAC) were evaluated on an aphasia battery, confrontation naming, and structured discourse in addition to completing self-reported measures of functional communication and quality of life at three time points: before attending BRAC and after 1 (N = 27) and 2 (N = 20) years of BRAC participation. Twenty-six communication partners who communicated regularly with the PWA completed a questionnaire about their functional communication at the same time points. A mixed linear model was conducted for all dependent variables to determine change over time. Tau-b correlations were conducted between demographic and aphasia-related variables and difference scores for outcome measures that exhibited significant improvements.

Results: At 1-year testing, significant improvements were observed on the aphasia battery, object and action naming, and all self- and communication partner–reported measures. At 2-year testing, all improvements were maintained except for the self-reported measure of functional communication. Structured discourse showed increases in average number of words, percentage of meaningful words and utterances, and efficiency of meaningful word production after 2 years. No significant correlations were observed between predictor variables and difference scores.

Conclusions: Participation in aphasia centers can result in significant changes in language, functional communication, and quality of life in people with chronic aphasia. These findings support the importance of aphasia centers in the continuum of care for PWA.

Supplemental Material S1. Descriptions of BRAC groups.

Supplemental Material S2. Linear mixed model details.

Edmonds, L. A., & Morgan, J. (2022). Two-year longitudinal evaluation of community aphasia center participation on linguistic, functional communication, and quality of life measures across people with a range of aphasia presentations. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Advance online publication.

Publisher Note: This article is part of the Special Issue: Select Papers From the 50th Clinical Aphasiology Conference.