Research  |   May 2010
Variables Associated With Communicative Participation in People With Multiple Sclerosis: A Regression Analysis
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Carolyn Baylor
    University of Washington, Seattle
  • Kathryn Yorkston
    University of Washington, Seattle
  • Alyssa Bamer
    University of Washington, Seattle
  • Deanna Britton
    University of Washington, Seattle
  • Dagmar Amtmann
    University of Washington, Seattle
  • Contact author: Carolyn Baylor, University of Washington—Rehabilitation Medicine, Box 356490, Seattle, WA 98195. E-mail: cbaylor@u.washington.edu.
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Special Populations / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Language Disorders
Research   |   May 2010
Variables Associated With Communicative Participation in People With Multiple Sclerosis: A Regression Analysis
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2010, Vol. 19, 143-153. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2009/08-0087)
History: Received December 16, 2008 , Accepted November 4, 2009
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2010, Vol. 19, 143-153. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2009/08-0087)
History: Received December 16, 2008; Accepted November 4, 2009
Web of Science® Times Cited: 6

Purpose: To explore variables associated with self-reported communicative participation in a sample (n = 498) of community-dwelling adults with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Method: A battery of questionnaires was administered online or on paper per participant preference. Data were analyzed using multiple linear backward stepwise regression. The dependent variable was an item response theory score of communicative participation measured by a subset of items from the Communicative Participation Item Bank asking respondents to rate how much their health condition interfered with participation in real-life speech communication situations. Thirteen independent variables were included in the model as self-reported symptoms: problems thinking, slurred speech, vision loss, pain, mobility, depression, fatigue, perceived social support, age, education level, employment status, gender, and MS duration.

Results: Fatigue, slurred speech, depression, problems thinking, employment status, and social support were significantly associated with communicative participation, accounting for 48.7% of the variance.

Conclusions: Communicative participation is significantly associated with multiple variables, only some of which reflect communication disorders. If the goal of intervention is to improve communicative participation, intervention may need to extend beyond traditional speech-language pathology boundaries to include other health symptoms as well as personal, social, and physical environments.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by grants from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, Department of Education (Grant H133B031129); the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institutes of Health (Grant 5U01AR052171-03); and training grants from the National Center for Medical Research and Rehabilitation, National Institutes of Health (Grant T32-HD-00742416A1), and National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (H133PO80008). The authors wish to thank the participants for their time and efforts in this study, as well as the staff at the Multiple Sclerosis Research and Rehabilitation Training Center in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Washington who collected the data.
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