Approximately 1 million individuals in the United States live with aphasia. This condition presents most often in individuals after a stroke or a head injury, particularly in people over the age of 85.

The latest special issue of the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology (AJSLP) contains highlights from the 50th Clinical Aphasiology Conference (CAC). Guest Editor Melissa Collins Duff presents tools and research for speech-language pathologists (SLPs) helping a growing number of aphasia patients in the United States.

Systematic Reviews and Right-Hemisphere Disorders

After an introduction by Duff, Patterson and Raymer present a tutorial on using tools in conjunction with systematic reviews in aphasia research. They discuss two tools that can help develop and appraise systematic reviews.

Although aphasia is typically triggered by damage to the left hemisphere of the brain, two articles in this special issue focus on right-hemisphere disorders. Berube and colleagues examine discourse differences and their relationship with cognitive impairment in right-hemisphere stroke. Then, Ukaegbe et al. analyze previous findings which determined that linguistic and emotional prosody is associated with the right hemisphere.

Characterizing and Treating People With Aphasia

When SLPs have to use interpreters during aphasia assessments, they may not collect the information they need. Babbitt and colleagues surveyed interpreters and SLPs about their interactions and developed a checklist to highlight specific errors that could be avoided.

Next, Lee and Cherney developed a scale to measure how a person with chronic aphasia sends text messages and investigated the link between text messages and aphasia severity. Then, Cavanaugh et al. attempted to find the most promising predictor of response to treatment in aphasia patients.

Community aphasia centers have the potential to make a huge impact for people with aphasia; Edmonds and Morgan studied a group for 2 years and reported significant changes in language, functional communication, and quality of life. Finally, Jokel emphasizes some encouraging evidence for clinicians providing language intervention to people with primary progressive aphasia.

Scoping Reviews and Future Research

The next two articles are scoping reviews. First, Wallace et al. review the literature on a variety of treatments aimed at improving auditory comprehension in people with aphasia. Then, Biel and colleagues review how individual beliefs about motivation effect aphasia researchers, clinicians, and people with aphasia.

The final article of the forum emphasizes the need for diverse research designs, methods, and perspectives in aphasia research. Elman suggests that concepts from a wide variety of fields can help clinical aphasiologists provide more personalized treatments for each person with aphasia.

More Aphasia Resources for Clinicians!

We hope that this coverage of the COC provides tools, ideas, and motivation to help clients with aphasia. Looking for more clinical aphasiology? Check out highlights from previous editions of the CAC on Context!

We’d like to thank Dr. Collins Duff and all of the authors for their work on this helpful forum for clinical aphasiologists. You can read the entire special issue or check out the individual articles below!

Explore the Special Issue

Babbitt, E. M., Ginsberg-Jaeckle, M., Larkin, E., Escarcega, S., & Cherney, L. R. (2022). Classifying interpreter behaviors during aphasia assessments: Survey results and checklist development. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 31(5S), 2329–2347.

Berube, S. K., Goldberg, E., Sheppard, S. M., Durfee, A., Ubellacker, D., Walker, A., Stein, C. M., & Hillis, A. E. (2022). An analysis of right hemisphere stroke discourse in the modern cookie theft picture. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 31(5S), 2301–2312.

Biel, M., Enclade, H., Richardson, A., Guerrero, A., & Patterson, J. P. (2022). Motivation theory and practice in aphasia rehabilitation: A scoping review. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 31(5S), 2421–2443.

Cavanaugh, R., Quique, Y. M., Dickey, M. W., Hula, W. D., Boss, E., & Evans, W. S. (2022). Practice-related predictors of semantic feature verification treatment for aphasia. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 31(5S), 2366–2377.

Duff, M. C. (2022). Introduction to the special issue for the 50th Clinical Aphasiology Conference. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 31(5S), 2289–2290.

Edmonds, L., & Morgan, J. (2022). Two-year longitudinal evaluation of community aphasia center participation on linguistic, functional communication, and quality-of-life measures across people with a range of aphasia presentations. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 31(5S), 2378–2394.

Elman, R. J. (2022). Still searching for understanding: The importance of diverse research designs, methods, and perspectives. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 31(5S), 2444–2453.

Jokel, R. (2022). Maintenance and generalization of lexical items in primary progressive aphasia: Reflections from the roundtable discussion at the 2021 Clinical Aphasiology Conference. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 31(5S), 2395–2403.

Lee, J. B., & Cherney, L. R. (2022). Transactional success in the texting of individuals with aphasia. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 31(5S), 2348–2365.

Patterson, J. P., & Raymer, A. M. (2022). Applying appraisal tools in aphasia systematic reviews: A tutorial. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 31(5S), 2291–2300.

Ukaegbe, O. C., Holt, B. E., Keator, L. M., Brownell, H., Blake, M. L., Lundgren, K., and Right Hemisphere Disorders Working Group, Evidence-Based Clinical Research Committee, Academy of Neurologic Communication Disorders and Sciences. (2022). Aprosodia following focal brain damage: What’s right and what’s left? American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 31(5S), 2313–2328.

Wallace, S. E., Patterson, J. P., Purdy, M., Knollman-Porter, K., & Coppens, P. (2022). Auditory comprehension interventions for people with aphasia: A scoping review. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 31(5S), 2404–2420.