To investigate the influence of acquired dysarthria on conversational turn-taking, contributions from five stroke and 19 non-brain damaged (NBD) elderly subjects were analysed. It was hypothesized that the dysarthric (DYS) group would be less active participants. In subject-researcher conversations the DYS subjects contributed a lower percentage of the total conversational parameter turns than did the control subjects. Number of turns did not differ in the groups, but for the DYS group fewer of these were major turns and their length was shorter. This less active participation was consistent with subjects' perceptions of post stroke change to interaction style. Intelligibility may influence conversational contribution: the pattern of the more intelligible speakers more closely approached that of the NBD group. DYS subjects also paused more than NBD before turns. Dysarthria assessment should include appropriate evaluation of conversation, to guide management decisions. Future research should involve larger subject groups. Analysis should encompass further aspects of the conversational process, such as topic, repair and non-verbal responses, with attention to both participants, and preferably with familiar conversational partners.
- speech therapy