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Clin Neuropsychol. 2010 Nov;24(8):1292-308. doi: 10.1080/13854046.2010.528452.

Operating characteristics of executive functioning tests following traumatic brain injury.

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  • 1Psychology Service, North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System, 1601 S.W. Archer Road, Gainesville, FL 32608, USA.


The primary purposes of this study were to determine if controls, and mild and moderate/severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients performed differently on a battery of executive functioning (EF) tests, and to identify the operating characteristics of EF tests in this population. Participants consisted of 46 brain-injured individuals and 24 healthy controls. All participants completed an extensive battery of EF tests. Results showed that mild TBI participants performed worse than controls on the Trail Making Test Part B, and that moderate/severe TBI participants consistently performed worse than either group on a variety of EF measures. Tests of EF exhibited a wide range of operating characteristics, suggesting that some EF tests are better than others in identifying TBI-related neurocognitive impairment. Predictive values were better for individuals with moderate/severe TBI than mild TBI. Overall, the Digit Span Backward Test showed the best positive predictive power in differentiating TBI. Our results provide useful data that may guide test selection in evaluating EF in patients with traumatic brain injury.

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