Dutch Diagnostic Instrument for Mild Aphasia (DIMA): standardisation and a first clinical application in two brain tumour patients

Djaina Satoer*, Elke De Witte, Bram Bulté, Roelien Bastiaanse, Marion Smits, Arnaud Vincent, Peter Mariën, Evy Visch-Brink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Brain tumour patients with mild language disturbances are typically underdiagnosed due to lack of sensitive tests leading to negative effects in daily communicative and social life. We aim to develop a Dutch standardised test-battery, the Diagnostic Instrument for Mild Aphasia (DIMA) to detect characteristics of mild aphasia at the main linguistic levels phonology, semantics and (morpho-)syntax in production and comprehension. We designed 4 DIMA subtests: 1) repetition (words, non-words, compounds and sentences), 2) semantic odd-picture-out (objects and actions), 3) sentence completion and 4) sentence judgment (accuracy and reaction time). A normative study was carried out in a healthy Dutch-speaking population (N = 211) divided into groups of gender, age and education. Clinical application of DIMA was demonstrated in two brain tumour patients (glioma and meningioma). Standard language tests were also administered: object naming, verbal fluency (category and letter), and Token Test. Performance was at ceiling on all sub-tests, except semantic odd-picture-out actions, with an effect of age and education on most subtests. Clinical application DIMA: repetition was impaired in both cases. Reaction time in the sentence judgment test (phonology and syntax) was impaired (not accuracy) in one patient. Standard language tests: category fluency was impaired in both cases and object naming in one patient. The Token Test was not able to detect language disturbances in both cases. DIMA seems to be sensitive to capture mild aphasic deficits. DIMA is expected to be of great potential for standard assessment of language functions in patients with also other neurological diseases than brain tumours.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)929-953
Number of pages25
JournalClinical Linguistics and Phonetics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author Roelien Bastiaanse was partially supported by the Сenter for Language and Brain NRU Higher School of Economics, RF Government grant, ag. № 14.641.31.0004. We are grateful to students from the University of Groningen (the Netherlands) and Vrije Universiteit Brussels (Belgium), in particular: Pauline Cuperus, Mayon Bulthuis, Fleur Versteeg, Bram de Beer, Charlotte Abspoel and Saskia Mooijman. We are grateful to healthcare organization Zinn Zorg Haren for recruiting healthy test 75+ years participants.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


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