No AccessAmerican Journal of Speech-Language PathologyResearch Note11 Feb 2021

Standardizing Assessment of Spoken Discourse in Aphasia: A Working Group With Deliverables

    Purpose

    The heterogeneous nature of measures, methods, and analyses reported in the aphasia spoken discourse literature precludes comparison of outcomes across studies (e.g., meta-analyses) and inhibits replication. Furthermore, funding and time constraints significantly hinder collecting test–retest data on spoken discourse outcomes. This research note describes the development and structure of a working group, designed to address major gaps in the spoken discourse aphasia literature, including a lack of standardization in methodology, analysis, and reporting, as well as nominal data regarding the psychometric properties of spoken discourse outcomes.

    Method

    The initial initiatives for this working group are to (a) propose recommendations regarding standardization of spoken discourse collection, analysis, and reporting in aphasia, based on the results of an international survey and a systematic literature review and (b) create a database of test–retest spoken discourse data from individuals with and without aphasia. The survey of spoken discourse collection, analysis, and interpretation procedures was distributed to clinicians and researchers involved in aphasia assessment and rehabilitation from September to November 2019. We will publish survey results and recommend standards for collecting, analyzing, and reporting spoken discourse in aphasia. A multisite endeavor to collect test–retest spoken discourse data from individuals with and without aphasia will be initiated. This test–retest information will be contributed to a central site for transcription and analysis, and data will be subsequently openly curated.

    Conclusion

    The goal of the working group is to create recommendations for field-wide standards in methods, analysis, and reporting of spoken discourse outcomes, as has been done across other related disciplines (e.g., Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials, Enhancing the Quality and Transparency of Health Research, Committee on Best Practice in Data Analysis and Sharing). Additionally, the creation of a database through our multisite collaboration will allow the identification of psychometrically sound outcome measures and norms that can be used by clinicians and researchers to assess spoken discourse abilities in aphasia.

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