Does Race/Ethnicity Really Matter in Adult Neurogenics? Purpose Recent evidence suggests that race/ethnicity is a variable that is critical to outcomes in neurological disorders. The purpose of this article was to examine the proportion of studies published in the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology (AJSLP) and the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research (JSLHR) that were ... Viewpoint
Viewpoint  |   November 01, 2009
Does Race/Ethnicity Really Matter in Adult Neurogenics?
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Charles Ellis
    Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston
  • Contact author: Charles Ellis, Medical University of South Carolina, College of Health Professions, Department of Health Professions, 77 President Street, MSC 700, Charleston, SC 29425. E-mail: ellisc@musc.edu.
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Viewpoint
Viewpoint   |   November 01, 2009
Does Race/Ethnicity Really Matter in Adult Neurogenics?
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2009, Vol. 18, 310-314. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2009/08-0039)
History: Received June 4, 2008 , Accepted February 4, 2009
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2009, Vol. 18, 310-314. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2009/08-0039)
History: Received June 4, 2008; Accepted February 4, 2009
Web of Science® Times Cited: 7

Purpose Recent evidence suggests that race/ethnicity is a variable that is critical to outcomes in neurological disorders. The purpose of this article was to examine the proportion of studies published in the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology (AJSLP) and the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research (JSLHR) that were designed to examine neurologically based disorders of communication in adults and that reported the race/ethnicity of the participants.

Method A review of articles in AJSLP and JSLHR from 1997 through 2007 was completed to determine what proportion of articles in the area of adult neurogenic communication disorders reported the race/ethnicity of the participants.

Results Between 1997 and 2007, less than 15% of the 116 articles published in the 2 journals reported the race/ethnicity of the participants. The review of studies indicates that the reporting of the race/ethnicity of participants in studies of adult neurogenic communication disorders remains inconsistent.

Conclusions Because few studies report race/ethnicity or consider how race/ethnicity has the potential to confound the results and conclusions drawn, the generalization of the reported findings may be limited. Reporting race/ethnicity is likely critical to the external validity of studies in adult neurogenic communication disorders and when available can enhance the relevance of the findings reported.

Acknowledgment
The author wishes to thank Brecken Hentz, BA, for her assistance with the review of studies reported in this article.
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