Assessment of Attention in People With Aphasia: Challenges and Recommendations Assessing nonverbal cognitive constructs, such as attention, in persons with aphasia is particularly challenging. The most difficult aspect of this task is determining whether language deficits are independent of attention deficits or whether the pattern of preserved and impaired performance reflects a combination of deficits of language and attention. As ... Article
Article  |   June 01, 2011
Assessment of Attention in People With Aphasia: Challenges and Recommendations
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lisa Tabor Connor
    Program in Occupational Therapy, Department of Neurology, Department of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
  • Robert P. Fucetola
    Department of Neurology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
  • Lisa Tabor Connor, PhD studies aphasia recovery and community reintegration of people with aphasia. She is assistant professor of Occupational Therapy, Radiology, and Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine. She directs the Stroke and Aphasia Recovery laboratory and is a consultant to the Evidence-Based Aphasia Clinic at the Rehabilitation Institute of St. Louis. She received her doctorate in experimental psychology from Washington University in 1992 and completed postdoctoral training in cognitive aging at Georgia Institute of Technology and in adult communicative disorders at Boston University School of Medicine and the Boston VA Hospital.
    Lisa Tabor Connor, PhD studies aphasia recovery and community reintegration of people with aphasia. She is assistant professor of Occupational Therapy, Radiology, and Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine. She directs the Stroke and Aphasia Recovery laboratory and is a consultant to the Evidence-Based Aphasia Clinic at the Rehabilitation Institute of St. Louis. She received her doctorate in experimental psychology from Washington University in 1992 and completed postdoctoral training in cognitive aging at Georgia Institute of Technology and in adult communicative disorders at Boston University School of Medicine and the Boston VA Hospital.×
  • Rob Fucetola, PhD, ABPP is chief of Neuropsychology and Associate Professor of Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine. He earned his PhD at Washington University in St. Louis and completed internship at the Boston VA Medical Center/Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Fucetola then completed a fellowship in adult neuropsychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School before joining the faculty at Washington University. His research and clinical interests are in acquired aphasia following stroke, particularly evidence-based treatment of aphasia, and sports-related concussion.
    Rob Fucetola, PhD, ABPP is chief of Neuropsychology and Associate Professor of Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine. He earned his PhD at Washington University in St. Louis and completed internship at the Boston VA Medical Center/Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Fucetola then completed a fellowship in adult neuropsychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School before joining the faculty at Washington University. His research and clinical interests are in acquired aphasia following stroke, particularly evidence-based treatment of aphasia, and sports-related concussion.×
Article Information
Language Disorders / Aphasia / Articles
Article   |   June 01, 2011
Assessment of Attention in People With Aphasia: Challenges and Recommendations
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, June 2011, Vol. 21, 55-63. doi:10.1044/nnsld21.2.55
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, June 2011, Vol. 21, 55-63. doi:10.1044/nnsld21.2.55

Assessing nonverbal cognitive constructs, such as attention, in persons with aphasia is particularly challenging. The most difficult aspect of this task is determining whether language deficits are independent of attention deficits or whether the pattern of preserved and impaired performance reflects a combination of deficits of language and attention. As difficult as the task of assessing attention in people with aphasia may be, teasing apart contributions of language and attention to communication is crucial for appropriate treatment planning and goal-setting for people with communication deficits. Assessment tools, both standardized and non-standardized, are reviewed to help in determining the extent to which types of attention are affected in people with aphasia.

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