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Communication impairment in patients with Parkinson's disease: challenges and solutions

Authors Thomas Holtgraves T, Cadle C

Received 16 January 2016

Accepted for publication 20 March 2016

Published 23 May 2016 Volume 2016:6 Pages 45—55

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JPRLS.S83164

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Jack Chen

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Peter Hedera


Thomas Holtgraves, Chelsea Cadle

Department of Psychological Science, Ball State University, Muncie, IN, USA

Abstract: Parkinson's disease (PD) is viewed primarily as a motor disorder. However, recent researches suggest that there is also a variety of communication deficits associated with this disorder. In this paper, we review some of these researches and provide a set of recommendations designed to improve communicative outcomes when interacting with people who have PD. A variety of comprehension deficits have been documented in PD, including syntactic, pragmatic, and semantic deficits, as well as an impaired ability to recognize emotions. People with PD are also impaired in terms of language production, possibly in part because of their comprehension deficits. Major production deficits include reduced informational content, longer and more frequent pauses and associated turn-taking disruption, inappropriate levels of politeness, and deficits in various nonverbal accompaniments. Awareness of these deficits, and simple, common sense communicative adjustments, can greatly improve communication with people with PD.

Keywords: Parkinson's disease, communication recommendations, pragmatics, comprehension deficits, production deficits, nonliteral language, politeness

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