Assessing the treatment effects in apraxia of speech: introduction and evaluation of the Modified Diadochokinesis Test

Joost Hurkmans*, Roel Jonkers, Anne M. Boonstra, Roy E. Stewart, Heleen A. Reinders-Messelink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The number of reliable and valid instruments to measure the effects of therapy in apraxia of speech (AoS) is limited. Aims: To evaluate the newly developed Modified Diadochokinesis Test (MDT), which is a task to assess the effects of rate and rhythm therapies for AoS in a multiple baseline across behaviours design. Methods: The consistency, accuracy and fluency of speech of 24 adults with AoS and 12 unaffected speakers matched for age, gender and educational level were assessed using the MDT. The reliability and validity of the instrument were considered and outcomes compared with those obtained with existing tests. Results: The results revealed that MDT had a strong internal consistency. Scores were influenced by syllable structure complexity, while distinctive features of articulation had no measurable effect. The testretest and intra- and inter-rater reliabilities were shown to be adequate, and the discriminant validity was good. For convergent validity different outcomes were found: apart from one correlation, the scores on tests assessing functional communication and AoS correlated significantly with the MDT outcome measures. The spontaneous speech phonology measure of the Aachen Aphasia Test (AAT) correlated significantly with the MDT outcome measures, but no correlations were found for the repetition subtest and the spontaneous speech articulation/prosody measure of the AAT. Conclusions & Implications: The study shows that the MDT has adequate psychometric properties, implying that it can be used to measure changes in speech motor control during treatment for apraxia of speech. The results demonstrate the validity and utility of the instrument as a supplement to speech tasks in assessing speech improvement aimed at the level of planning and programming of speech.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-436
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Language & Communication Disorders
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • apraxia of speech
  • diadochokinesis
  • speech therapy
  • improvement

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