Assessing chronic stroke survivors with aphasia sheds light on prevalence of spatial neglect

Kimberly Hreha, Claire Mulry, Melissa Gross, Tarah Jedziniak, Natanya Gramas, Leora Ohevshalom, Alisha Sheridan, Gretchen Szabo, Christina Davison, A. M. Barrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Stroke is a chronic disease. Standardized assessment is essential in order to determine areas for treatment. Individuals with aphasia are often excluded from research, because it is believed that their language impairments may impact their ability to provide informed consent. Thus, right spatial neglect could be underdiagnosed. Objective: This study was developed to (1) determine the frequency of spatial neglect in chronic left-brain stroke survivors with aphasia, (2) determine the clinical utility of an aphasia-friendly consent form, and (3) determine any differences between neglect and no-neglect groups regarding activities of daily living (ADL) performance and community independence. Methods: Forty-six people were consented at community center. Three were screen failures secondary to the exclusion criteria. A novel, aphasia-friendly consent form was developed to facilitate participation of individuals with aphasia. This enabled 93% or 40 out of the 43 recruited participants to be included in this study. The Behavioral Inattention Test-conventional and the Catherine Bergego Scale via Kessler Foundation Neglect Assessment Process (CBS via KF-NAP) were utilized to determine neglect. The Life Space Questionnaire was used to determine community mobility and independence. The Barthel Index (BI) was used for objective clarification of performance in ADL. Results: Successful use of the consent form resulted in determination that five out of 40 (12.5%) met criteria for spatial neglect; (on the CBS via KF-NAP). The neglect group had lower scores on the Life Space, suggesting less community mobility and independence, however, it was not statistically significant (p = 0.16). Differences in BI scores were also not significant (p =.013) but the neglect group did have reduced independence. Conclusions: This study demonstrates the need to administer functional neglect assessments in left-brain stroke and to include individuals with aphasia in research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-98
Number of pages8
JournalTopics in Stroke Rehabilitation
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Aphasia
  • Assessment
  • Left spatial neglect
  • Right spatial neglect
  • Spatial neglect
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Community and Home Care
  • Clinical Neurology


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