Purpose: Lexical retrieval impairment is a universal characteristic of aphasia and a common treatment focus. Although naming improvement is well documented, there is limited information to shape expectations regarding long-term recovery. This was the motivation for a retrospective study of longitudinal data on the Boston Naming Test (BNT; Kaplan, Goodglass, & Weintraub, 1983, 2000). Method: BNT scores were analyzed from a heterogeneous cohort of 42 individuals with anomia associated with a range of aphasia types. The data were collected over the course of 20 years from individuals who had participated in treatment and received at least 2 BNT administrations. A linear mixed model was implemented to evaluate effects of initial BNT score, time postonset, and demographic variables. For those over 55 years of age, BNT change was evaluated relative to data from the Mayo Clinic’s Older Americans Normative Studies. Results: There was a significant average improvement of +7.67 points on the BNT in individuals followed for an average of 2 years. Overall, the average rate of improvement was +5.84 points per year, in contrast to a decline of 0.23 points per year in a healthy adult cohort from the Mayo Clinic’s Older Americans Normative Studies. Naming recovery was approximately linear, with significant main effects of initial BNT score (i.e., initial severity) and time postonset; the greatest changes were noted in those whose initial severity was moderate. Conclusions: These findings indicate a positive prognosis for naming improvement over time regardless of demographic factors and provide estimates for clinical predictions for those who seek rehabilitation during the chronic phase.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Linguistics and Language
- Speech and Hearing