Characterizing social communication changes in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Fiona Fisher, April Philpott, Sophie C Andrews, Roxanne Maule, Jacinta Douglas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Speech and language impairments are well-established in individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis(ALS).However, knowledge about particular aspects of social communication and everyday conversational abilitiesis limited.Aims: To investigate self- and informant-report ratings of social communicative abilities in ALS participants andmatched healthy controls. Methods & Procedures: Thirty-two participants with ALS and 24 controls completed the La Trobe CommunicationQuestionnaire (LCQ). Participants nominated a close other to provide an informant report on the LCQ.Demographic and clinical information was also collected. Outcomes & Results: Informant ratings indicated greater difficulties in conversational initiation, effectivenessand partner sensitivity for ALS participants compared with controls. ALS participants did not rate their socialcommunicative abilities as poorer than controls and self-reports only differed from informant ratings in the controlgroup. LCQ scores were not significantly correlated with clinical/functional variables. Conclusions & Implications: Social communication can be reduced in ALS and individuals may lack insight intothese difficulties. In order to understand and provide targeted interventions for such difficulties, clinical speech andlanguage assessment should incorporate social communication assessment, including both a self- and informantreportformat.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-142
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Language and Communication Disorders
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017


  • motor neuron disease
  • communication disorder
  • language test
  • social cognition
  • pragmatics
  • informant report

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