Application of the ICF in Aphasia

Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, Louisiana, USA.
Seminars in Speech and Language (Impact Factor: 0.7). 12/2007; 28(4):244-53. DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-986521
Source: PubMed


The aim of this article is to describe aphasia using the framework provided by the World Health Organization's International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). The key constructs of ICF are described in relation to the ultimate goal of intervention in aphasia-maximizing quality of life. Aphasic impairments as well as activity limitations and participation restrictions are discussed. In addition, the impact of contextual factors on the experience of aphasia and participation in life are addressed. Finally, a case example is presented to depict the use of the ICF as an organizational framework for approaching management of impairments and consequences of aphasia.

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    • "The A-FROM adaptation of the ICF is useful for understanding the impact of aphasia at a variety of levels and serves as the scaffold upon which the ALA was designed (Simmons-Mackie & Kagan, 2007a). A-FROM ties the ALA to the conceptual underpinnings of the ICF and includes the key domains of ICF in a simplified schematic (figure 1). "
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    ABSTRACT: The Assessment for Living with Aphasia (ALA) is a pictographic, self-report measure of aphasia-related quality-of-life. Research was undertaken to assess test-re-test reliability, construct validity, and the ability to discriminate aphasia severity. The ALA was administered to 101 participants with aphasia on two occasions. Test-re-test reliability was evaluated using intra-class correlations and internal consistency using Cronbach's alpha. Three reference measures were administered to assess construct validity. A focus group reported on ease of administration and face validity. Analysis identified 15 out of 52 rated items for elimination. For the remaining items, test-re-test reliability was excellent for the total score (ICC = .86) and moderate-to-strong for a priori domains adapted from the WHO ICF (.68-.83). Internal consistency was acceptable-to-high. Significant correlations were observed between the ALA and reference tests (SAQOL-39, .72; p < .001; VASES, .62, p = .03; BOSS CAPD, -.69; p = .008). The language impairment domain discriminated between all aphasia severity groups, while mild aphasia was different from moderate and severe aphasia in participation and total scores. The ALA was reportedly easy to administer and captured key aspects of the experience of living with aphasia. Results suggest acceptable test-re-test reliability, internal consistency and construct validity of the ALA.
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