Exploring the Conversational Outcomes of Collaborative Referencing Intervention (CRI) in Aphasia

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Suma Devanga

Second Advisor

Dr. Robin Criter

Third Advisor

Dr. Robin Pollens


Aphasia, conversation analysis, collaborative referencing, conversational outcome measures, social-based intervention

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Abstract Only

Restricted to Campus until



The collaborative referencing intervention (CRI) is a conversation-based aphasia intervention structured around a referencing game between a client and clinician (Hengst, Duff & Dettmer, 2010). Although the ultimate goal of aphasia interventions is improved conversational skills, there is limited research on conversational outcome measures. The current study employed a multiple probe single-case experimental design to explore the use of a novel conversation analysis protocol as an outcome measure for CRI in Miguel, a participant with chronic aphasia. Data included 15 clinic probes (between Miguel and clinician) and 15 home probes (between Miguel and spouse) that were divided into baseline, treatment, and maintenance phases. Analysis and results included: i) CIUconv analysis across probes revealed improved mean %CIUconv from baseline to treatment indicating potential language improvement; ii) Conversational moves analysis across probes indicated changes in specific move types suggesting a potential increase in conversational participation; and iii) Analysis of Miguel’s use of evaluative discourse across probes indicated potential changes in confidence depending on the linguistic complexity of conversations. Also, analysis of the partners’ use of evaluative discourse across probes indicated a positive and supportive communicative environment for Miguel. Clinical implications and future research directions are discussed.

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