Separate and Combined Influence of Cognitive Impairment and Dysarthria on Functional Communication in Multiple Sclerosis Purpose Dysarthria is a consequence of multiple sclerosis (MS) that can co-occur with cognitive impairment. Clinical management thus requires understanding the separate and combined effects of dysarthria and cognitive impairment on functional communication in MS. This study compared perceptual measures of intelligibility and speech severity that capture functional communication deficits ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 06, 2018
Separate and Combined Influence of Cognitive Impairment and Dysarthria on Functional Communication in Multiple Sclerosis
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lynda Feenaughty
    Department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences, University at Buffalo, New York
  • Kris Tjaden
    Department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences, University at Buffalo, New York
  • Bianca Weinstock-Guttman
    Department of Neurology, University at Buffalo, New York
  • Ralph H. B. Benedict
    Department of Neurology, University at Buffalo, New York
  • 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 Lynda Feenaughty, who is now at the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Memphis: Lynda.Feenaughty@memphis.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Jule Barkmeier-Kraemer
    Editor-in-Chief: Jule Barkmeier-Kraemer×
  • Editor: Nancy Solomon
    Editor: Nancy Solomon×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Dysarthria / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Special Populations / International & Global / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 06, 2018
Separate and Combined Influence of Cognitive Impairment and Dysarthria on Functional Communication in Multiple Sclerosis
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2018, Vol. 27, 1051-1065. doi:10.1044/2018_AJSLP-17-0174
History: Received October 26, 2017 , Revised January 27, 2018 , Accepted April 16, 2018
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2018, Vol. 27, 1051-1065. doi:10.1044/2018_AJSLP-17-0174
History: Received October 26, 2017; Revised January 27, 2018; Accepted April 16, 2018

Purpose Dysarthria is a consequence of multiple sclerosis (MS) that can co-occur with cognitive impairment. Clinical management thus requires understanding the separate and combined effects of dysarthria and cognitive impairment on functional communication in MS. This study compared perceptual measures of intelligibility and speech severity that capture functional communication deficits for 4 operationally defined groups with MS. The relationship between communication participation and perceptual measures was also examined.

Method Forty-eight adults with MS and 12 healthy controls participated. Cognitive testing and dysarthria diagnosis determined group assignment: (a) MS with cognitive impairment (MSCI), (b) MS with a diagnosis of dysarthria and no cognitive impairment (MSDYS), (c) MS with dysarthria and cognitive impairment (MSDYS + CI), and (d) MS without dysarthria or cognitive impairment (MS). Sentence Intelligibility Test scores, scaled speech severity obtained from the “Grandfather Passage,” and Communication Participation Item Bank (CPIB) scores were analyzed.

Results Sentence Intelligibility Test scores approached 100% for all groups. Speech severity was greater for the MSDYS + CI and MSDYS groups versus controls. CPIB scores were greatest for the MSDYS + CI group and were not significantly correlated with either perceptual measure.

Conclusions The CPIB and speech severity were sensitive to aspects of communication problems for some groups with MS not reflected in a measure of sentence intelligibility. Findings suggest the importance of employing a variety of measures to capture functional communication problems experienced by persons with MS.

Acknowledgments
This research was funded by an ASHFoundation New Century Doctoral Scholarship (L. Feenaughty), the Mark Diamond Research Fund of the Graduate Student Association at the University at Buffalo (L. Feenaughty), and The State University of New York and National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant R01DC004689 (K. Tjaden). Results were presented at the 2015 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Annual Convention in Denver, Colorado.
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