What's on Your Mind? Conversation Topics Chosen by People With Degenerative Cognitive-Linguistic Disorders for Communication Boards Purpose Conversational topics chosen by a group of adults with degenerative cognitive-linguistic disorders for personalized communication board development were examined. The patient-generated themes commonly selected are presented to guide treatment planning and communication board development. Method Communication boards were created for 109 adults as part of a larger ... Research Note
Research Note  |   May 2015
What's on Your Mind? Conversation Topics Chosen by People With Degenerative Cognitive-Linguistic Disorders for Communication Boards
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Melanie Fried-Oken
    Oregon Health & Science University, Portland
  • Darlene Daniels
    Oregon Health & Science University, Portland
  • Olivia Ettinger
    Oregon Health & Science University, Portland
  • Aimee Mooney
    Oregon Health & Science University, Portland
  • Glory Noethe
    Oregon Health & Science University, Portland
  • Charity Rowland
    Oregon Health & Science University, Portland
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Melanie Fried-Oken: friedm@ohsu.edu
  • Olivia Ettinger is now with Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR.
    Olivia Ettinger is now with Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR.×
  • Editor: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Associate Editor: Joanne Lasker
    Associate Editor: Joanne Lasker×
  • Copyright © 2015 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Normal Language Processing / Research Notes
Research Note   |   May 2015
What's on Your Mind? Conversation Topics Chosen by People With Degenerative Cognitive-Linguistic Disorders for Communication Boards
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2015, Vol. 24, 272-280. doi:10.1044/2015_AJSLP-14-0057
History: Received April 11, 2014 , Revised October 10, 2014 , Accepted December 19, 2014
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2015, Vol. 24, 272-280. doi:10.1044/2015_AJSLP-14-0057
History: Received April 11, 2014; Revised October 10, 2014; Accepted December 19, 2014
Acknowledgments
This research was funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH) Grant R21HD047754-01A1, awarded to Oregon Health & Science University; U.S. Department of Education National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research Grant H133E08011, awarded to Oregon Health & Science University; and a Pennsylvania State University contract, awarded to Oregon Health & Science University. Subject recruitment occurred through the Layton Aging and Alzheimer's Disease Center at Oregon Health & Science University (NIH Grant P30AG008017, awarded to Oregon Health & Science University). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funders. We wish to express our gratitude to all of the participants and their families for allowing us into their homes and into their lives.

Purpose Conversational topics chosen by a group of adults with degenerative cognitive-linguistic disorders for personalized communication board development were examined. The patient-generated themes commonly selected are presented to guide treatment planning and communication board development.

Method Communication boards were created for 109 adults as part of a larger research project. One autobiographical topic that each participant would enjoy discussing multiple times was represented on each communication board with 16 pictures and word labels. For this review, topics were collapsed into general themes through a consensus process and examined by gender and age.

Results Sixty unique conversational topics were identified from 109 participants and collapsed into 9 general themes: Hobbies, Family, Travel, Work, Home/Places I've Lived, Sports/Fitness, Religion, Animals, and World War II. Age and gender produced variations in themes chosen, though no significance in rank orders was found across groups.

Conclusions Topics selected by adults with degenerative cognitive-linguistic disorders for communication boards resemble common conversational adult themes and do not center around basic needs or medical issues. Differences in gender and age for topic selection tend to be based on traditional roles. These general themes should be used when creating personalized communication boards for those who benefit from conversational aids.

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