Purpose of Assessment

The purpose of aphasia assessment varies according to the demands of particular clinical settings and includes the need to

1. Screen patients in the hospital setting in order to determine the presence/absence of aphasia and the need for comprehensive evaluation

2. Perform an in-depth evaluation in order to determine a diagnosis/clinical description

3. Identify areas of deficit and preserved performance for rehabilitation assessment

4. Make recommendations for treatment if indicated

5. Develop a treatment plan

6. Render a prognosis

Table I

Classification Systems Schemes0




Weisenberg and Mcbride




Wernicke's aphasia Broca's aphasia Conduction aphasia

Nominal aphasia Amnesic aphasia Amnesic aphasia

Syntactic aphasia Sensory aphasia Predominately receptive aphasia

Verbal aphasia Motor aphasia Predominately

Central aphasia expressive aphasia

Expressive-receptive aphasia

Transcortical sensory aphasia (isolated speech area syndrome)

Transcortical motor aphasia

Acoustic-amnestic Semantic aphasia aphasia

Acoustic aphasia

Efferent motor aphasia

Afferent motor aphasia

Pragmatic aphasia Syntactic aphasia

Dynamic aphasia

"Reproduced with permission from Heilman, K. (1979). Clinical Neuropsychology. Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford.

The examiner includes an assessment of the individual's motivation, expectations, psychosocial status, and ability to cope with the demands of the rehabilitation process. Baseline measures obtained at the first assessment are used to measure progress over time.

In addition to the described general measures of aphasia, tests of specific linguistic performance, such as the use of syntax, vocabulary, frequency of word usage, pauses, hesitations, length of utterances, and rate of speech, are derived from a free speech sample or a narrative elicited in response to the tasks of describing a picture or telling a story.

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