Developing a clinician-friendly aphasia test

Robert C. Marshall, Heather Harris Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Purpose: The Kentucky Aphasia Test (KAT) is an objective measure of language functioning for persons with aphasia. This article describes materials, administration, and scoring of the KAT; presents the rationale for development of test items; reports information from a pilot study; and discusses the role of the KAT in aphasia assessment. Method: The KAT has 3 parallel test batteries, KAT-1, KAT-2, and KAT-3. Each battery contains the same orientation test and 6 subtests, each with 10 items, assessing expressive and receptive language functions. Subtests for KAT-1, KAT-2, and KAT-3 systematically increase in difficulty so that it is possible to assess individuals with severe, moderate, and mild aphasia, respectively. The KAT was administered to 38 participants with aphasia and 31 non-brain-damaged (NBD) participants. Results: Results with the KAT clearly differentiated the language performance of individuals with and without aphasia. NBD participants made few errors, and overall scores on the test for individuals with aphasia were rarely within 1 SD of the NBD group. Performance of the participants with aphasia administered KAT-1, KAT-2, and KAT-3 suggested that the 3 versions of the test represent a hierarchy of difficulty. Conclusions: The KAT remains in its early stages of development. However, it does appear to meet the requirements for a "clinician- friendly" aphasia test and, as such, offers a rapid, convenient means of obtaining an objective score to determine changes in language functioning during the early postonset period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-315
Number of pages21
JournalAmerican Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2007


  • Aphasia
  • Managed care
  • Test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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