The impact of expressive aphasia on speech breathing in older adults
AdvisorParham, Douglas F.
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Aphasia is defined as a language disorder resulting from brain damage; it involves the loss of language understanding (receptive aphasia) and/or language production (expressive aphasia). While deficits in expressive language are typically associated with expressive aphasia, speech production is also negatively affected. One of the required components of speech production is respiration (speech breathing), which provides a source of power for speaking. Speech production and language production are interrelated, but most research in the area of aphasia has focused on language deficits. To date, there have been no studies that have explored speech breathing in persons with aphasia. The purpose of this study was to explore speech breathing behaviors in adult participants diagnosed with expressive aphasia. The participants’ speech breathing behaviors were also compared to those of adults with no history of stroke or aphasia. This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board at Wichita State University. Five participants with aphasia (Aphasia Group) and five participants without aphasia (Control Group) were included in this study. All participants completed the same specific protocol that included non-speech breathing tasks (e.g., spirometry testing and rest breathing) and speech breathing tasks (e.g., formal and informal speech tasks). Participants in the Aphasia Group had difficulty planning and executing speech breathing behaviors compared to the Control Group. Interestingly, participants in the Control Group also had difficulty on some tasks, such as spirometry testing. Differences between and within the groups were observed. Language was negatively affected by aphasia, but so was speech production. The findings of this study can inform speech and language measurement in persons with aphasia, as well as provide clinicians and caregivers insight into how to support persons with aphasia.
Thesis (Ph.D.)-- Wichita State University, College of Health Professions, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders