Language Screening Test
Poststroke Aphasia is a common phenomenon among many hospitalized patients around the world. The condition is a major cause of disability in patients with stroke because it affects the communication, movement and the hearing abilities of people. Post-stroke aphasia is rarely detected in the early stages of development because the mechanisms used to test the condition do not function in patients with an acute stroke condition.
As such, the language screening test (LAST) is a tool developed to detect the early development of aphasia among patients with stroke. The tool was only used among patients in the cure care wards – both acute and chronic patients. The LAST tool allows healthcare providers to detect aphasia early, thus enhancing effective care for stroke patients. Unlike other aphasia standard detection tools, the LAST tool eliminates most of the limitations that hinder early detection and effective rehabilitation. Three hundred patients were involved in the study, including both males and females. Further, patients with other conditions that could affect the result of the study were excluded from the study sample to improve the reliability of the results.
The language screening test was conducted in two ways; LAST (a) LAST (b). Both tests included five subtests with fifteen items that allowed healthcare providers to conduct the test at the same time. The study made use of patients who had been admitted to the acute care ward in less than twenty-four hours to ensure that early detection was possible. Both tests were conducted consequently to avoid errors of retesting. The highest score was fifteen, and a patient was supposed to answer each question in five seconds. The process of conducting the test increases the validity of the test and makes it possible for healthcare professionals to create an ideal intervention plan.
The gold standard correlates well with the results of the LAST tool. The gold standard testing used for the study was BDAE, and the points of the study were closely related to both tools thus indicating a high level of correlation. However, the BDAE had a higher capability of detecting aphasia in comparison with the LAST tool. Only one patient detected with BDAE scored all the points in the LAST test while all the patients who scored less than fifteen points in the LAST test were diagnosed with aphasia in BDAE. The result of the study indicates that the new tool is well equipped to serve in the acute wards to detect early developments of aphasia. Additionally, the test of the LAST tool was not blinded by the gold standard results. The study used the appropriate spectrum of patients to ensure that the results of both test tools were not redundant in any way. Further, the provision of adequate information by the researchers enhanced the effectiveness and the reliability of the tool.
Threats to validity in the early detection of aphasia, especially acute patients of stroke, include inadequacy in the use of daily objects and the inadequate use of color pictures during the testing process. The results of this study had a high specificity and high sensitivity. Most of the LAST tools avoided both threats by conducting two tests at the same time and by comparing the results of the LAST tool with a gold standard scale. Further, the early testing of patients within the first twenty-four hours allowed health care providers to detect the condition early enough to provide better care. Further, the pre-test and the post-test probabilities of the study are 51% and 99% respectfully thus indicating that the test is worth the time, expense and the potential risks incurred during the study. The ability of the researcher to protect the study from the validity threats has contributed to the LR Nomogram results.
The above discussion shows that LAST can be useful in acute care settings to aid in the management of aphasia among Stroke patients.