The Nature of Word Finding Abilities Following Traumatic Brain Injury

Date of Graduation

Spring 1997


Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders


Communication Sciences and Disorders

Committee Chair

Julie Stierwalt


Various authors have noted anomia, or word finding difficulties, to be a frequent sign following traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, there has been very little research which has examained the nature of these word finding problems. The present study was designed to answer the following questions: 1) Is anomia a common finding following TBI? If so, are word finding abilities related to a particular individuals's functional communication? 2) What is the nature of word finding following TBI? Thirteen adults who had experienced a TBI were recruited for the present study. The Test of Adolescent/Adult Word Finding (TAWF) and the Functional Assessment of Communication Skill for Adults (FACS) were administered to each subject. The TAWF was intended to give information regarding word finding in a number of contexts while the FACS was designed to give a measure of functional communication for each subject. Fifty-four percent (N=7) of the subjects evidenced significant word finding deficits while 62% of the population studied demonstrated increased response latencies when compared to normative data. Common noun error types included coordinate, no response, self-corrections, and circumlocutions. The most frequent verb error types were found to be coordinate verbs, no response, and superordinate verbs. A relation between accuracy of word finding and functional communication also was revealed.

Subject Categories

Communication Sciences and Disorders


© April D Murphy