Development of a method for assessment of dysarthria in a foreign language: a pilot study
Purpose: It is increasingly more common for Speech and Language Pathologists in Sweden to encounter individuals with dysarthria who speak a different language. The aim of the present pilot study was to develop and test a systematic method to be used in collaboration with an interpreter, for assessment of acquired dysarthria in people speaking a language not familiar to the Speech and Language Pathologist.
Methods: Seven participants, speaking standard Arabic, were assessed by a Swedish speaking Speech and Language Pathologist using this method and with help of a certified interpreter. The participants were also assessed with equivalent test items from the Swedish “Dysarthria assessment,” with instructions translated to Arabic, by a Speech and Language Pathologist speaking standard Arabic and the results were compared.
Results: There were no significant differences between the assessments by the Swedish speaking Speech and Language Pathologist and the Arabic speaking Speech and Language Pathologist in the domains “Respiration and phonation,” “Articulation,” “Listener Comprehension” and “Severity of dysarthria.” There was a significant difference between assessments in the domain “Oromotor and velopharyngeal function.” Intra- and inter-rater reliability was also calculated using Intraclass Correlation Coefficient and their 95% Confidence Interval. Intra-rater reliability was excellent and inter-rater reliability was very good.
Conclusion: The study indicates that a Speech and Language Pathologist, with help of an interpreter, can carry out an assessment of dysarthria in a language unknown to the Speech and Language Pathologist with results comparable to results from an assessment carried out by a Speech and Language Pathologist who speaks the foreign language.