Attention and Other Cognitive Deficits in Aphasia: Presence and Relation to Language and Communication Measures

Indiana University, Bloomington, USA.
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology (Impact Factor: 1.64). 01/2012; 21(2):S51-64. DOI: 10.1044/1058-0360(2012/11-0067)
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study was designed to further elucidate the relationship between cognition and aphasia, with a focus on attention. It was hypothesized that individuals with aphasia would display variable deficit patterns on tests of attention and other cognitive functions and that their attention deficits, particularly those of complex attention functions, would be related to their language and communication status.
A group of individuals with varying types and severity of aphasia and a group of age- and education-matched adults with no brain damage completed tests of attention, short-term and working memory, and executive functioning.
Overall, the group with aphasia performed significantly more poorly than the control group on the cognitive measures but displayed variability in the presence, types, and severity of their attention and other cognitive deficits. Correlational and regression analyses yielded significant relations between participants' attention deficits and their language and communication status.
The findings accorded well with prior research identifying (a) attention and other cognitive deficits in most but not all individuals with aphasia; (b) heterogeneity in the types and severity of attention and other cognitive symptoms among individuals with cognitive impairments; and (c) potent associations among attention, language, and other cognitive domains. Implications for clinical practice and future research are discussed.

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