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Changes in writing ability over a three year period – a case study from a person with post-stroke aphasia

Poster
Authors Charlotte Johansson
Åsa Wengelin
Ingrid Henriksson
Published in International Clinical Phonetics and Linguistics Association Conference, University of Malta.
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Department of Swedish
Language en
Keywords Aphasia, stroke, writing
Subject categories Logopedics and phoniatrics

Abstract

Background: Persons with post-stroke aphasia have reported improvement in writing ability many years after onset of illness (Kjellén, Laakso and Henriksson, 2017). Even though studies have shown an improvement of writing ability years post stroke (most often by using dictation tasks), no longitudinal studies have continuously investigated writing ability in text production. The aim of the study was to investigate writing ability over a two year period for a person with post-stroke aphasia. Method: A 63 year old right handed man with 25 years of formal education, suffered a left hemisphere cerebri media insult. He was diagnosed with Broca’s aphasia, apraxia of speech and experienced a considerable writing impairment. The participant enrolled in the study 8 months post stroke. He had mild chronic aphasia with pertaining writing difficulties. Over a two year period he was tested three times using dictation tasks, testing both spelling of real words and non-words and a reading task. He also wrote two narratives, one picture-elicited and one free narrative. The narrative texts were collected by means of keystroke logging, which enables analysis of the writing process as well as the final text. Results: Whereas results from dictation of real words showed the greatest improvement during the first year, results from non-word dictation and the reading test showed continued improvement. Analysis of the writing process gives evidence of clear improvement in all aspects of the writing process throughout the two year period. Most strikingly, the production rate (measured as number of written words per minute) were 4,5 times faster in the free narrative between the first and the last data collection. Conclusion: Results revealed that after an improvement of spelling to dictation plateaued, measures from the writing process showed an ongoing improvement of writing ability in text production. The results further emphasize the importance of investigating text production when measuring writing ability for persons with aphasia.

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