Western Aphasia Battery

Hola SLPs!

I'm currently in my final internship as a grad student (graduated in May, then continued onto a 10-week medical internship...my program has a cruel set-up) and am working on a final project of sorts for my placement. I've finally settled on doing something with the WAB as it was newly acquired by this rehab center and no one has given it yet. I've already made a lovely chart/guide of sorts to all the subtests, its strengths/weaknesses, etc and some flipbook guides to all the materials/directions needed...but I'm looking for more content. Having never given the WAB to a patient before, I wanted to check in with this lovely community: is it an assessment tool you use frequently? Has any research enforced your decision to use it? Any clients you've found it especially good for? 

I know these are kind of general questions. It's a completely self-directed project, so it's just kind of what I want to put together. Right now I'm envisioning compiling materials that could be used if patients exhibit deficits in the different subtest areas along with research articles. But...well...I feel a bit silly putting together a manual on something I've never really used. I might have the chance to try it out right before I leave...but for now...I'm asking for any thoughts on the WAB you might have. Even if it's just "I don't like it; Give me the BDAE any day", I'd appreciate it. Just want to have information that the SLPs who will hopefully giving it soon will be able to use.

Thanks in advance for any input!

Elena
I'll look at my Adult Neurogenic class notes. I know there's something in there about benefits of the BDAE vs the WAB. After I'm done in my class, I'll look at that for ya!
Everyone in my Diagnostics class was assigned a test to review, and one of my good friends was assigned the WAB. We were required to do an extensive review as well as apply the Psychometric Criteria from McCauley & Swisher (1984). It only passed 2 out of 10 of the criteria. Overall, her conclusion after she reviewed and administered the test was that because it had poor validity and reliability it shouldn't be used independently. She recommended it should be used to supplement a battery of tests.
Isn't this true of just about every adult test we have out there though? By which I mean, it's important to supplement tests with other info like clinical observations, clinical judgment, subtests from other tests, etc. I know the ABA is another one that comes to mind as having horrible psychometric properties.

In any event to answer your questions, OP, I've given the WAB a couple of times (but feel free to take this with a grain of salt because I'm still in grad school) and we always used it if we read in a previous eval that the client had severe deficits or if there was no previous assessment info available. We were taught that WAB is better for those who are more severe while the BDAE was for those who had moderately severe impairments while the MTDDA was for those who were on the milder side. I personally hate the WAB; it DESPERATELY and i do mean DESPERATELY needs an update. I've yet to eval someone who says padlock or elastic for lock and rubber band but, of course, that may be dialectical differences coming into play. Perhaps the thing I like most about the WAB is the block design task. It's a quick and dirty way to assess visuospatial functioning that I can use separately from the test.

Hope any of this rambling is helpful.
Thank you--very helpful! The rehab center I'm at has the WAB-Revised...so hopefully it's a bit better? I'll have to see what they have for lock/padlock ha :)
(Anonymous)
I am a practicing SLP and a doctoral candidate studying aphasia. I have extensively used the WAB in both clinical practice and in research. WAB is a great clinical test but like all other tests, it definitely has drawbacks specifically relating to content. But do not formulate a diagnosis exclusively based on any standardized test. Your eyes and ears tell you more from interactions with the patient than any standardized test can. Like many others suggest, I would encourage use of specific subtests of the WAB in conjunction with selected subtests of the ABA and BDAE. Be sure to include cognitive assessments as well, particularly tests of working memory. The WAB-R has better psychometric properties and they have changed up some of the stimuli...yes, the lock/padlock item's gone!