Treatment success in aphasia is influenced by various factors. Clinical decisions, including patient selection and decisions on frequency and content, are often guided by a clinician's implicit opinions. The Multi-axial Aphasia System (MAAS) was developed to structure linguistic, somatic, neuropsychological, psychosocial and socio-economic information on five separate axes, enabling an explicit and interdisciplinary process of clinical decision-making. The objectives of this study were to investigate the potentialities of MAAS in predicting the outcome of cognitive-linguistic treatment. A group of 58 aphasic patients were investigated prospectively. All received cognitive-linguistic treatment during a randomized, controlled study on the efficacy of lexical semantic treatment. An interdisciplinary aphasia team rated the pretreatment MAAS profiles of all patients. The team was blinded for treatment allocation and outcome. A multiple linear regression analysis was performed with the posttreatment verbal communication score as the variable to be predicted and the overall MAAS rating, age and type of treatment as predictor variables. In a second multiple regression analysis, the ratings for each of the five MAAS axes were used as candidate predictors. The team's overall rating contributed significantly to the prediction of verbal communicative ability after linguistic treatment. Of the five MAAS axes, the neuropsychological axis contributed to the prediction. An interdisciplinary approach to aphasia assessment may contribute to realistic goal setting in aphasia rehabilitation. The results of this study stress the importance of neuropsychological assessment of aphasic patients before treatment.

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Keywords Aphasia, Neuropsychology, Treatment, Verbal communication
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Journal International Journal of Rehabilitation Research
van de Sandt-Koenderman, W.M.E, van Harskamp, F, Duivenvoorden, H.J, Remerie, S.C, van der Voort-Klees, Y.A, Wielaert, S.M, … Visch-Brink, E.G. (2008). MAAS (Multi-axial Aphasia System): Realistic goal setting in aphasia rehabilitation. International Journal of Rehabilitation Research, 31(4), 314–320. doi:10.1097/MRR.0b013e3282fc0f23