Validation of Videoconference Administration of Picture Description From the Western Aphasia Battery-Revised in Neurotypical Canadian French Speakers


PURPOSE: During the COVID-19 pandemic, clinicians and researchers have increasingly used remote online assessments to pursue their activities, but mostly with tests not validated for videoconference administration. This study aims to validate the remote online administration of picture description in Canadian French neurotypical speakers and to explore the thematic unit (TU) checklist recently developed. METHOD: Spoken discourse elicited through the picture description task of the Western Aphasia Battery-Revised (WAB-R) was collected from Canadian French neurotypical speakers from Québec aged between 50 and 79 years old. Forty-seven participants completed the task in person, and 49 participants completed the task by videoconference. Videos of each discourse sample were transcribed using CHAT conventions. Microstructural variables were extracted using the CLAN (Computerized Language ANalysis) program, whereas thematic informativeness was scored for each sample using TUs. Chi-square tests were conducted to compare both groups on each TU; t tests were also performed on the total score of TUs and microstructural variables. RESULTS: Groups were matched on sex, age, and education variables. The t tests revealed no intergroup difference for the total TU score and for the microstructural variables (e.g., mean length of utterances and number of words per minute). Chi-square tests showed no significant intergroup difference for all 16 TUs. CONCLUSIONS: These findings support remote online assessment of the picnic scene of the WAB-R picture description in Canadian French neurotypical speakers. These results also validate the 16 TUs most consistently produced. The use of videoconference could promote and improve the recruitment of participants who are usually less accessible, such as people using assistive mobility technologies. SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL:

Am J Speech Lang Pathol