The Effects of Question Type on Conversational Discourse in Alzheimer's Disease Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of asking open-ended episodic memory questions versus open-ended semantic memory questions on the conversational discourse of individuals with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Methods: Four females diagnosed with probable AD participated in the study. A within-subjects experimental design was employed to ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2009
The Effects of Question Type on Conversational Discourse in Alzheimer's Disease
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Megan Petryk
    Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of AlbertaEdmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • Tammy Hopper
    Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of AlbertaEdmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • * Currently at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, Alberta Health Services, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Currently at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, Alberta Health Services, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada×
Article Information
Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Normal Language Processing / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Articles
Article   |   December 01, 2009
The Effects of Question Type on Conversational Discourse in Alzheimer's Disease
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, December 2009, Vol. 19, 126-134. doi:10.1044/nnsld19.4.126
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, December 2009, Vol. 19, 126-134. doi:10.1044/nnsld19.4.126
Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of asking open-ended episodic memory questions versus open-ended semantic memory questions on the conversational discourse of individuals with Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Methods: Four females diagnosed with probable AD participated in the study. A within-subjects experimental design was employed to assess the effects of the different question types on participants’ spoken language. Transcripts were analyzed using specific discourse measures used in previous research involving individuals with AD.

Results: Participants in this study produced more meaningful and relevant statements, as measured by ratios of on-topic utterances, when responding to the semantic memory questions as compared to episodic memory questions. Participants made few negative comments overall; however, more negative self-evaluative statements were made in the episodic memory condition. When considered in conjunction with previous research, the results support the use of multiple question types in conversation with individuals with mild and moderate AD. However, communication partners should limit their use of open-ended questions that primarily tax episodic memory.

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