Assessing change in communication limitations in primary progressive apraxia of speech and aphasia: A 1-year follow-up study

Rene L. Utianski, Peter R. Martin, Joseph R. Duffy, Hugo Botha, Heather M. Clark, Keith A. Josephs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Individuals with primary progressive apraxia of speech have apraxia of speech (AOS) as the initial and predominant symptom. Many develop aphasia and/or dysarthria later in the disease course. It was previously demonstrated that patients with neurodegenerative AOS experience reduced participation in communication that is further exacerbated by co-occurring language deficits (Utianski et al., 2020). Measures of disease severity did not necessarily correlate with measures of participation restrictions. The aim of this follow-up study was to describe changes in communication limitations in these patients, again measured by (a) the patient via the Communicative Participation Item Bank (CPIB) and (b) the speech-language pathologist via the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s (ASHA’s) Functional Communication Measures (FCMs) and an adapted motor speech disorder (MSD) severity rating to determine if there are significant changes in these and other objective speech and language measures at follow-up after 1 year. Method: Of the 24 patients reported in the study of Utianski et al. (2020), 17 (10 men, seven women) returned for a second visit approximately 1 year following the first visit. Identical procedures were utilized; the communication measures collected at each visit were statistically compared. Correlations were calculated between the participation ratings and other clinical assessment measures at the second visit and for the change in scores on those measures between the first and second visits. Results: There were statistically significant differences in AOS and aphasia severity between visits. There were significant changes in clinical assessments, MSD severity rating, and all ASHA FCMs between visits, but not the CPIB. Correlation analyses suggest the relationships among clinical and participation measures are complex; overall, patients with more severe changes in AOS experienced greater changes in participation restrictions. Conclusions: The findings of this study support the use of patient-reported outcome measures as they may better reflect the patient experience, including the influence of factors such as ongoing speech therapy and the emergence of neuropsychiatric features, and associated changes in day-to-day functioning, when other measures may simply index the progression of the disease. Supplemental Material: 16528512.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2368-2378
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican journal of speech-language pathology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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