Assessing pragmatic language use in dementia of the Alzheimer's type: the reliability and validity of the profile of Functional Impairment in Communication (PFIC)
The aim of the present study is to evaluate the psychometric properties of the Profile of Functional Impairment in Communication (PFIC; Linscott, Knight & Godfrey, 1996) amongst a population with Dementia of the Alzheimer's Type (DAT). The PFIC was designed to assess communication impairments following traumatic brain injury. The PFIC is yet to be evaluated with other disorders characterised by difficulties with functional communication. Communication breakdown is regularly cited as among the top four stressors for caregivers of those with DAT (Ripich, 1994) and affects the management by health professionals of the person with DAT. In the present study, videotaped social interactions of 13 participants with DAT and 13 aged matched controls were viewed by three raters trained in the use of the PFIC and another widely used measure of pragmatic language use, the Pragmatic Protocol (Prutting & Kirchner, 1983). Results suggested that the reliability of the measure was adequate for seven of the feature summary scales as long as at least three raters were used to assess participants. The validity of the PFIC was excellent. The PFIC was able to differentiate group membership based on pragmatic language use. In addition, the PFIC correlated highly with cognitive status and with the Pragmatic Protocol (Prutting & Kirchner, 1983). The clinical applications of the PFIC are discussed in terms of providing the appropriate communication management approaches for the individual with DAT and their family.
Degree Name: Master of Arts
Degree Discipline: Psychology
Research Type: Thesis