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Title: The development of a speech and language screening test for Maltese older persons
Authors: Delia, Kenneth
Ellul Mercer, Elena
Fiorini, Helen
Ameen, Alexandra
Keywords: Aphasia -- Neuropsychological tests -- Malta
Older people -- Aphasia
Aphasia -- Treatment
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Malta Medical Journal
Citation: Malta Medical Journal. 2012, Vol.24(2), p. 20-26
Abstract: Aim: To develop the first screening test for Maltese speaking older adults with acquired language difficulties based on normative data, referred to in the study as Language Screening Test for the Elderly (LeST). Methodology: Normative data were collected from a representative sample of 77 elders living in the community, through cluster sampling from the five regions of Malta. Inclusion criteria: i) functional hearing abilities, ii) no history of neurological disorders, and iii) no cognitive impairment. Eighteen subjects were excluded. Factors taken into account: a) age (60 to 79 years and 80+ years), b) gender, c) educational background, d) literacy and e) bilingualism. A pilot study was carried out on 20 participants. Data collection was carried out at day centres by four speech language pathologists (SLPs). The LeST was also administered on ten subjects with aphasia and results were compared to the normal population. Results: Correlation and comparative statistical analysis of the data revealed that 1) scores were not affected by gender, age or locality, 2) p-values reach significance for factors related to bilingualism and literacy, and 3) the mean scores differ significantly between the control and test group. A cut-off point for receptive skills and one for expressive skills were also obtained. Conclusion: The test is valid for the purpose of language screening and would serve to ensure early identification of language impairment.
Appears in Collections:MMJ, Volume 24, Issue 2
MMJ, Volume 24, Issue 2

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