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Letting the CAT out of the bag: A review of the Comprehensive Aphasia Test. Commentary on Howard, Swinburn, and Porter, oPutting the CAT out: What the Comprehensive Aphasia Test has to offero

Bruce, C; Edmundson, A; (2010) Letting the CAT out of the bag: A review of the Comprehensive Aphasia Test. Commentary on Howard, Swinburn, and Porter, oPutting the CAT out: What the Comprehensive Aphasia Test has to offero. APHASIOLOGY , 24 (1) 79 - 93. 10.1080/02687030802453335.

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Abstract

Background: For many years, aphasia batteries have been widely used to assess language difficulties associated with aphasia. Although many clinicians use aphasia batteries in their clinical evaluation, a gradual shift away from these tests has occurred in the last 10 years. Concerns about whether established aphasia batteries fulfil the purposes of assessment have resulted in the development and use of other measures to investigate the effects of brain injury on language function and communication. Recently, a new aphasia battery was published. The Comprehensive Aphasia Test (CAT; Swinburn, Porter, Howard, 2005) is a standardised test designed to comprehensively assess processes concerned with the recognition, comprehension, and production of spoken and written language. In addition, it attempts to evaluate how any language-processing difficulties identified by the test impact on the individual's everyday life and record the person's own perspective of his or her aphasia. Aims: This paper attempts to provide a critical review of the most widely used aphasia batteries in the UK. It also aims to evaluate the CAT, a relatively new aphasia battery. Main Contributions: The paper begins with a brief history of aphasia assessment followed by a discussion of the purposes of assessment. Then, some of the aphasia test batteries commonly used in both clinical and research settings in the UK are reviewed. Finally the CAT, the newest aphasia battery for a number of years, is critiqued. Questions are asked about the adequacy of aphasia batteries in general and the CAT in particular to achieve the goals of assessment. Conclusion: The CAT is a valid and reliable test of language-processing abilities in adults with aphasia. The test identifies the nature of the person with aphasia's impairments and his or her intact processes. It also provides some insight into how the person feels about his or her aphasia. The information gained may be used to identify further areas for assessment or provide the basis for devising a therapy programme. Given the time constraints experienced in clinical and research settings and the useful information on language skills provided by the CAT, this assessment tool should be of interest to clinicians and researchers.

Type:Article
Title:Letting the CAT out of the bag: A review of the Comprehensive Aphasia Test. Commentary on Howard, Swinburn, and Porter, oPutting the CAT out: What the Comprehensive Aphasia Test has to offero
DOI:10.1080/02687030802453335
Keywords:Aphasia, Assessment battery, The CAT, COMMUNICATIVE EFFECTIVENESS INDEX, QUALITY-OF-LIFE, FUNCTIONAL COMMUNICATION, PERFORMANCE, IMPAIRMENT, VERSION, PEOPLE, STROKE
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Psychology and Language Sciences (Division of) > Language and Communication

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