Comprehension of single versus combined modality information by people with aphasia

Jessica A. Brown, Sarah E. Wallace, Kelly Knollman-Porter, Karen Hux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Purpose: Every adult with aphasia displays a unique constellation of language comprehension skills and varies in the benefit derived from different content presentation formats. For many, multiple modality presentation enhances comprehension. This study’s purpose was to determine the comprehension benefits for people with mild, moderate, and severe aphasia when hearing, reading, or simultaneously hearing and reading single sentences. Method: Twenty-seven adults with aphasia performed a repeated-measures experiment across 3 conditions. Participants read and/or listened to sentence stimuli and selected from 4 images the 1 matching the sentence. Participants also indicated condition preference. Results: Participants demonstrated significantly greatest accuracy during simultaneous written and auditory stimulus presentation. Performance patterns varied within aphasia severity groups. Individuals with mild and moderate aphasia demonstrated minimal performance differences across conditions, and people with severe aphasia were significantly more accurate in the combined modality than the written-only modality. Overall, participants required the longest response time in the written-only condition; however, participants were most efficient with auditory content. Condition preferences did not always mirror accuracy; however, the majority reported a preference for combined content presentation. Conclusions: Results suggest some people with aphasia may benefit from combined auditory and written modalities to enhance comprehension efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)278-292
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican journal of speech-language pathology
Issue number1S
StatePublished - Mar 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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