No AccessAmerican Journal of Speech-Language PathologyResearch Article27 May 2019

Auditory-Perceptual Rating of Connected Speech in Aphasia


    Auditory-perceptual assessment, in which trained listeners rate a large number of perceptual features of speech samples, is the gold standard for the differential diagnosis of motor speech disorders. The goal of this study was to investigate the feasibility of applying a similar, formalized auditory-perceptual approach to the assessment of language deficits in connected speech samples from individuals with aphasia.


    Twenty-seven common features of connected speech in aphasia were defined, each of which was rated on a 5-point scale. Three experienced researchers evaluated 24 connected speech samples from the AphasiaBank database, and 12 student clinicians evaluated subsets of 8 speech samples each. We calculated interrater reliability for each group of raters and investigated the validity of the auditory-perceptual approach by comparing feature ratings to related quantitative measures derived from transcripts and clinical measures, and by examining patterns of feature co-occurrence.


    Most features were rated with good-to-excellent interrater reliability by researchers and student clinicians. Most features demonstrated strong concurrent validity with respect to quantitative connected speech measures computed from AphasiaBank transcripts and/or clinical aphasia battery subscores. Factor analysis showed that 4 underlying factors, which we labeled Paraphasia, Logopenia, Agrammatism, and Motor Speech, accounted for 79% of the variance in connected speech profiles. Examination of individual patients' factor scores revealed striking diversity among individuals classified with a given aphasia type.


    Auditory-perceptual rating of connected speech in aphasia shows potential to be a comprehensive, efficient, reliable, and valid approach for characterizing connected speech in aphasia.


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