Prevalence and patterns of right hemisphere cognitive/communicative deficits: Retrospective data from an inpatient rehabilitation unit

Margaret Lehman Blake, Joseph R. Duffy, Penelope S. Myers, Connie A. Tompkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Background: Cognitive and communicative deficits frequently occur after damage to the right cerebral hemisphere (RHD); However there is little available information regarding the prevalence of these deficits, or specific deficits that tend to co-occur. Aims: The primary aim of the study was to examine frequency of occurrence of cognitive/communicative deficits in adults with RHD. The secondary aim was to explore patterns of co-occurrence of these deficits. Materials & procedures: Medical charts were reviewed from 123 adults with RHD admitted to an inpatient rehabilitation unit. Information regarding the presence/absence of a wide range of cognitive/communicative deficits was obtained from neurology, speech-language pathology, neuropsychology, and occupational therapy reports. Diagnoses were consolidated into 14 deficit categories. Frequency analyses were performed on the deficit categories. A cluster analysis was performed to evaluate patterns of deficits. Outcomes & results: Prevalence data indicate that the most commonly reported deficits involved problems with attention, neglect, perception, and learning/memory. The cluster analysis provided preliminary data suggesting that difficulties with calculation, basic linguistic processes, and behaviours classified as "hyperaffective" were not closely related to any other deficit categories. Deficits in attention were closely related to difficulties in learning/memory, and behaviours classified as "hyporesponsive" were related to a category containing a broad range of general cognitive deficits. Conclusions: Difficulties encountered in the chart review process highlight the need for standard terminology for RHD deficits. Results provide initial prevalence information that can be used in education of new clinicians and as a rough benchmark for representativeness of research samples drawn from rehabilitation centres. The findings establish a basis for further discussion and exploration of RHD deficits and underlying impairments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)537-547
Number of pages11
Issue number4-6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • LPN and LVN


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