The purpose of this study was to develop a technique for quantifying connected speech samples of aphasic individuals as they recover from the moderate to the mild range of severity. Verbal picture descriptions elicited from mild and moderate aphasic speakers were audio-recorded and compared to those elicited from normal adult and geriatric speakers. These samples were compared on the basis of a measure of amount of information conveyed (content units) and 2 measures of efficiency including speaking rate (syllables per min) and rate at which information was conveyed (content units per min). Results indicated an inverse relationship between severity of aphasia and amount of information conveyed. However, mild and high-moderate aphasic speakers tended to communicate as much information as normal speakers. Both measures of efficiency differentiated groups of mild and high-moderate aphasics from normal speakers as well as differentiating low-moderate from mild aphasic speakers. Use of this quantification system which takes into account both amount of information and efficiency of communication is illustrated with data obtained from a recovering aphasic speaker.
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