Researchers at the University of Arizona conducted a retrospective analysis of data on confrontation naming in persons with aphasia (PWA) who had participated in their institution’s various aphasia programs, and who had been administered the Boston Name Test (BNT) at least twice. Their purpose was to study the long-term patterns of BNT score improvements, specifically in PWA who received treatment during the chronic stage of aphasia.
The authors drew on University records, reviewing over 20 years of data from their research and clinical programs to identify PWA who had been administered the 60-item BNT, in its entirety, on at least two occasions, and who met this study’s retrospective inclusion and exclusion criteria. The qualifying sample comprised a heterogeneous group, whose 42 members varied widely in aphasia types, severity levels, etiologies, and times postonset. Demographically, 29 were males and 13 – females, on average 60.3 y/o and 1.83 years postonset at first BNT administration. Their mean WAB AQ score was 67.3 then, and their mean BNT score was just over 24 out of 60. The received an average of 20 hours treatment per year. For those members over 55 years of age, changes in BNT test scores longitudinally were juxtaposed against data from the Mayo Clinic’s Older Americans’ Normative Studies, which quantifies confrontational naming performance declines in neurotypical elders due to aging.
The subjects improved scores over time. The mean overall BNT score gain in this sample was 7.67 points, over an average interval of 2.1 years. A linear mixed-model analysis showed that this overall change was statistically significant at the p < .001 level. Initial severity and time postonset were significant influences, with earlier interventions and mid-range impairments associated with greater gains. In contrast, demographic factors – such as gender, age, handedness, and education – did not significantly influence score improvements. The greatest gains were found in those participants whose initial severity was moderate, with BNT scores falling between 10 and 35 out of 60; their overall change was +12.3. Those initially scoring below 10 showed an overall change of +5.2, and those initially scoring above 35 registered a BNT score improvement of +4.5. Using models from these data analyses, the authors have produced a table plotting predicted BNT score improvement in persons by initial severity levels, over a projected 5-year period of treatment. The authors also note that the data indicate improvements that largely maintained over time.
For further reading: A. Sachs, K. Rising, P. M. Beeson. 2020. A retrospective study of long-term improvement on the Boston Naming Test. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 29, 425–436. https://doi.org/10.1044/2019_AJSLP_CAC48-18-0224