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Clin Neuropsychol. 2003 Nov;17(4):515-30.

Performance of cognitively normal African Americans on the RBANS in community dwelling older adults.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK 73190, USA.


Recent research suggests that cognitively normal African Americans are more likely to be misdiagnosed as impaired compared to Caucasians due to lower neuropsychological test scores (e.g., Manly et al., 1998). Given this, the present study sought to determine whether such racial discrepancies exist on the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS). Performances of 50 cognitively normal older African Americans on the RBANS were compared to those of 50 Caucasians matched on age, education, and gender. The African Americans scored significantly lower on 10 of 12 subtests, 3 of 5 Index scores, and the Total Scale score. Results underscored the utility of demographically appropriate norms when serving minority clients. Given that there remains a paucity of normative data for minority groups, RBANS normative data for older African Americans are provided. Although preliminary, it is hoped that data presented will offer the practitioner assistance with clinical diagnosis and decision-making in a manner that will help minimize diagnostic errors.

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