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Regular version of the site

Article

A tutorial on aphasia test development in any language: Key substantive and psychometric considerations

Aphasiology. 2013. No. 27. P. 891-920.
Maria V. Ivanova, Hallowell B.

Background: There are a limited number of aphasia language tests in the majority of the
world’s commonly spoken languages. Furthermore, few aphasia tests in languages other
than English have been standardised and normed, and few have supportive psychometric
data pertaining to reliability and validity. The lack of standardised assessment tools
across many of the world’s languages poses serious challenges to clinical practice and
research in aphasia.
Aims: The current review addresses this lack of assessment tools by providing conceptual
and statistical guidance for the development of aphasia assessment tools and establishment
of their psychometric properties.
Main Contribution: A list of aphasia tests in the 20 most widely spoken languages is
included. The pitfalls of translating an existing test into a new language versus creating a
new test are outlined. Factors to be considered in determining test content are discussed.
Further, a description of test items corresponding to different language functions is provided,
with special emphasis on implementing important controls in test design. Next, a
broad review of principal psychometric properties relevant to aphasia tests is presented,
with specific statistical guidance for establishing psychometric properties of standardised
assessment tools.
Conclusions: This article may be used to help guide future work on developing, standardising
and validating aphasia language tests. The considerations discussed are also
applicable to the development of standardised tests of other cognitive functions.