Measuring the Diagnostic Features of Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder: An Exploratory Study Purpose The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition introduced a new neurodevelopmental disorder, social (pragmatic) communication disorder (SPCD), that is characterized by deficits in 4 areas of communication. Although descriptions of these areas are provided, no assessment tools for SPCD are recommended. The purpose of this study ... Research Article
Research Article  |   May 03, 2018
Measuring the Diagnostic Features of Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder: An Exploratory Study
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Haiying Yuan
    Callier Center for Communication Disorders, The University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson
  • Christine Dollaghan
    Callier Center for Communication Disorders, The University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson
  • 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 Haiying Yuan: haiying.yuan@utdallas.edu
  • Editor: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Associate Editor: Nancy Brady
    Associate Editor: Nancy Brady×
Article Information
Development / Language Disorders / Social Communication & Pragmatics Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research Articles
Research Article   |   May 03, 2018
Measuring the Diagnostic Features of Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder: An Exploratory Study
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2018, Vol. 27, 647-656. doi:10.1044/2018_AJSLP-16-0219
History: Received November 16, 2016 , Revised April 13, 2017 , Accepted December 19, 2017
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2018, Vol. 27, 647-656. doi:10.1044/2018_AJSLP-16-0219
History: Received November 16, 2016; Revised April 13, 2017; Accepted December 19, 2017

Purpose The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition introduced a new neurodevelopmental disorder, social (pragmatic) communication disorder (SPCD), that is characterized by deficits in 4 areas of communication. Although descriptions of these areas are provided, no assessment tools for SPCD are recommended. The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which items from measurement tools commonly used in assessing pragmatic language impairment and related disorders might be useful in assessing the characteristics of social communication that define SPCD in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition.

Method Based on a literature search, 594 items from assessment tools commonly used to measure social communication abilities in people with pragmatic language impairment were identified. The first author judged whether each item reflected 1, more than 1, or none of the 4 SPCD diagnostic characteristics. After a brief training process, 5 second raters independently mapped subsets of items to the 6 categories. We calculated the percentage of agreement and Cohen's kappa for each pair of raters in assigning items to categories.

Results Percentages of agreement ranged from 76% to 82%, and Cohen's kappa values ranged from .69 to .76, indicating substantial agreement. Sources and item numbers for the 206 items that both raters assigned to the same SPCD feature are provided.

Conclusions These items may provide guidance in assessing SPCD and in designing standardized screening and diagnostic measures for SPCD.

Acknowledgments
We convey our deepest appreciation to Johanna Rudolph, Melissa Boone, Mariam Kavakci, Simone Crotteau, Melissa Sherman, and Jana Mueller for volunteering as the second raters, sharing their time and effort for the completion of this study.
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