Summary of the Systematic Review

Article Citation

The Use of Standardised Short-Term and Working Memory Tests in Aphasia Research: A Systematic Review

Murray, L., Salis, C., et al. (2018).
Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 28(3), 309-351.
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Sponsoring Body

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, National Institutes of Health

Article Quality Ratings

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Indicators of Review Quality

  • Yes The review states a clearly focused question/aim.
  • Yes Criteria for inclusion of studies are provided.
  • Yes Search strategy described in sufficient detail for replication.
  • Yes Included studies are assessed for study quality.
  • Yes Quality assessments are reproducible.
  • Yes Characteristics of the included studies are provided.

Article Details


This is a systematic review identifying and evaluating the use of standardized tests of short-term memory and working memory in aphasia. Psychometric properties of the tests, and the quality of existing studies investigating their use in aphasia, were evaluated in order to make inferences about clinical appropriateness of use in the aphasia population.

Questions/Aims Addressed

The authors aimed to
  1. identify standardized tests of short-term memory and working memory, verbal and non-verbal;
  2. evaluate the psychometric strength of these tests; and
  3. appraise the evidence using these tests in adults with aphasia.


Adults with aphasia of any etiology


Standardized, norm-referenced assessments of short-term and/or working memory with clear administration and scoring procedures

Number of Studies Included


Years Included

From January 2000 to April 15, 2015

Conclusions from This Systematic Review

What are Conclusions?

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A wide variety of standardized tests for short-term and working memory have been used in adults with aphasia, but there are several issues regarding their psychometric strength and quality of evidence supporting use in aphasia. The authors state "no gold standard for evaluating [short-term memory and working memory] abilities in people with aphasia was identified" (p. 342), and call for further research on this topic.

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