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Is Old Age Just a Number in Language Skills?: Language Performance and Its Relation to Age, Education, Gender, Cognitive Screening, and Dentition in Very Old Finnish Speakers
University of Turku, Finland;Tampere University Hospital, Finland.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-2090-2023
Linnéuniversitetet, Fakulteten för konst och humaniora (FKH), Institutionen för språk (SPR). (DISA-DH)ORCID-id: 0000-0001-5251-5338
University of Turku, Finland;Tampere University Hospital, Finland.ORCID-id: 0000-0001-6358-5876
University of Turku, Finland;Macquarie University, Australia.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-3329-4602
2022 (Engelska)Ingår i: Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, ISSN 1092-4388, E-ISSN 1558-9102, Vol. 65, nr 1, s. 274-291Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
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Abstract [en]

Purpose:This study reports on how very old (VO) Finnish people without dementia perform in the Western Aphasia Battery (WAB) and two verbal fluency tasks and which demographic factors predict the performance.

Method:The study included fifty 80- to 100-year-old community-dwelling Finnish speakers with no dementing illnesses or speech-language disabilities, who completed the WAB and two verbal fluency tasks. Multifactorial statistical analyses with recursive partitioning were carried out to determine the significant predictors out of five predictor variables (age, gender, education, dentition, and Mini-Mental State Examination [MMSE]) for four response variables (WAB Aphasia Quotient [AQ], Language Quotient [LQ], semantic, and phonemic word fluencies).

Results:Overall, individual variation was notable in VO speakers. All predictor variables were statistically significantly associated with one or more of the language skills. Age was the most significant predictor; the critical age of 85–86 years was associated with a decline in WAB-AQ and semantic fluency. Poor dentition and the MMSE score both predicted a decline in WAB-LQ and phonemic fluency. A high level of education was positively associated with the skills of the best-performing individuals in WAB-AQ, WAB-LQ, and semantic fluency.

Conclusions:VO age is a significant factor contributing to language performance. However, a younger age, a good cognitive performance, intact teeth, and a higher educational level also seem to have a preservative power as regards language skills. Gender differences should be interpreted with caution. The results of this study provide culture- and language-specific normative data, which aids in differentiating typical aging from the signs of acute or degenerative neuropathology to ensure appropriate medical and therapeutic interventions.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2022. Vol. 65, nr 1, s. 274-291
Nyckelord [en]
speech therapy, old age, gerontology, language, cognition
Nationell ämneskategori
Gerontologi, medicinsk/hälsovetenskaplig inriktning Jämförande språkvetenskap och allmän lingvistik
Forskningsämne
Humaniora, Lingvistik; Medicin, Gerontologi
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-108720DOI: 10.1044/2021_jslhr-21-00178ISI: 000744019600018PubMedID: 34929110Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85122955422Lokalt ID: 2021OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-108720DiVA, id: diva2:1622618
Tillgänglig från: 2021-12-23 Skapad: 2021-12-23 Senast uppdaterad: 2022-02-03Bibliografiskt granskad

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Alantie, SonjaTyrkkö, JukkaMakkonen, TanjaRenvall, Kati
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Institutionen för språk (SPR)
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Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research
Gerontologi, medicinsk/hälsovetenskaplig inriktningJämförande språkvetenskap och allmän lingvistik

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