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Clin Neuropsychol. 2009 Jan;23(1):133-52. doi: 10.1080/13854040701819050. Epub 2008 Apr 8.

Dementia and effort test performance.

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Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Neuropsychology Department, Torrance, CA 90509, USA.


Research on the performance of patients with dementia on tests of effort is particularly limited. We examined archival data from 214 non-litigating patients with dementia on 18 effort indices derived from 12 tests (WAIS-III/WAIS-R Digit Span and Vocabulary, Dot Counting Test, Warrington Recognition Memory Test-Words, WMS-III Logical Memory, Rey Word Recognition Memory Test, Finger Tapping, b-Test, Rey 15-Item, Test of Memory Malingering, Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test, and Rey Complex Figure Test). Results indicated that recommended cut-offs for Digit Span indicators (Vocabulary Minus Digit Span and four-digit forward span time score) provided > or =90% specificity across participants, while the majority of other effort tests displayed specificities in the 30-70% range. Analyses of test specificity as a function of Mini Mental Status Examination (MMSE) score and specific dementia diagnosis are provided, as well as adjustments to cut-offs to maintain specificity where feasible.

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