Assessment of Attention in People With Aphasia: Challenges and Recommendations
Assessing nonverbal cognitive constructs, such as attention, in persons with aphasia is particularly challenging. The most difficult aspect of this task is determining whether language deficits are independent of attention deficits or whether the pattern of preserved and impaired performance reflects a combination of deficits of language and attention. As difficult as the task of assessing attention in people with aphasia may be, teasing apart contributions of language and attention to communication is crucial for appropriate treatment planning and goal-setting for people with communication deficits. Assessment tools, both standardized and non-standardized, are reviewed to help in determining the extent to which types of attention are affected in people with aphasia.