Aphasia is defined as a neurogenic disorder of symbolic communication that affects different components of language abilities, prosodic elements of speech, and cognitive abilities. In the linguistic field, aphasia affects vocabulary, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. On most occasions, it is the result of the damage of the language centers in the brain caused by a stroke, traumatic brain injury, or the consequences of progressive neurological diseases, tumors, and inflammations of the brain. The most common problem of all types of aphasia is anomie (inability to name). Aphasia makes daily communication difficult. Therefore, patients with this disorder must be referred to a speech therapist. He initiates diagnostics within which he observes the patient's behavior and assesses his communication abilities so that he can plan treatment appropriately. The speech therapist obtains an assessment of individual fields of communication through formal and informal tests. Among other things, the Boston Naming Test (BNT) (Kaplan et al., 1983) is used to assess specific language abilities. Thus, we assess the naming skills. Abroad, there are many standardized and non-standardized test instruments for assessing aphasic and dysarthric speech. We must adapt the instruments to the Slovenian cultural and linguistic characteristics appropriately. If this is not possible, it is best to design a completely new test. Because there is no standardized test in the Slovenian language for recognizing aphasia, speech therapists at the Division of Neurology in Ljubljana decided to design their own (Slovenian Word Search Test, STIB; Vogrinčič et al., 2021).
By my master's thesis, I wanted to check the validity and reliability of the test and ascertain how different variables (gender, age, and education) influence the performance of the test. The study included 52 subjects. A half were persons who had recently survived a cerebrovascular event of the left hemisphere (diagnosis code according to IMB-10: R47.0) and were diagnosed with motor dysphasia or aphasia after a clinical diagnostic examination. The other half consisted of persons without neurological problems who matched persons from the clinical population in terms of education, mother tongue, gender, and age. The analysis of the results showed that the persons from the studied/clinical group scored an average of 67.04 points (55%) on the test out of a total of 120 points while the persons from the comparative/typical group achieved higher results on average (of the total 120 points, they scored 90.62 points or 76%). There are statistically significant differences (p = 0.001) in the total number of points between the comparative/typical and the studied/clinical group. The comparative group had a statistically significantly higher number of points, which means that the persons from the typical/comparative group were more successful in naming the illustrations. With regard to these results, we can say that the STIB (Vogrinčič et al., 2021) is a valid measuring instrument. The research also showed that the naming test is very reliable because the calculated value of Cronbach’s alpha coefficient is 0.953. Within the typical group, I also checked for differences in naming according to gender, age, and education. It appeared that men were slightly more successful at naming than women but the differences were not statistically significant. Also, no statistically significant differences showed between persons with different levels of education, which is most likely the consequence of an unevenly distributed sample according to the level of education. Significant statistical differences were shown between different age groups (higher average of points were achieved by persons younger than 70 years) and between individual test items. Based on the results of the research, I conclude that the STIB (Vogrinčič et al., 2021) is a valid and reliable test accessory for use in the Slovenian area.