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Volume 42 Number 6, November/December 2005
Pages 737 — 746

Abstract - Recovery of cohesion in narrative discourse after left-hemisphere stroke

Charles Ellis, PhD;1* John C. Rosenbek, PhD;2 Maude R. Rittman, PhD, RN;1 Craig A. Boylstein, PhD;1

1Department of Veterans Affairs, Rehabilitation Outcomes Research Center, Gainesville, FL; 2Department of
Communicative Disorders, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Abstract — Little is known about the recovery of narrative discourse after stroke. While several studies have analyzed the recovery of language in individuals with aphasia, few known studies exist on the recovery of narrative discourse in stroke survivors, particularly those who have not been diagnosed with aphasia. In this study, we evaluated the cohesiveness of narrative discourse in a cohort of individuals who had suffered a left-hemisphere stroke and had not been diagnosed with expressive language impairment. We analyzed their narrative discourse at 1, 6, and 12 months poststroke. Our findings indicate that, while the mean number of cohesive ties in narrative discourse remained generally constant during the first year poststroke, the percentage correct use of cohesive ties increased significantly during the same time period. These findings suggest that subtle disruptions in expressive language can be present initially in narrative discourse, and recovery from these disruptions can occur naturally over time.
Key words: aphasia, cohesion, cohesive markers, cohesive ties, communication, discourse, language, narratives, speech, stroke.

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