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Arch Clin Neuropsychol. 2011 Jun;26(4):314-21. doi: 10.1093/arclin/acr024. Epub 2011 May 15.

Reliability of three alternate forms of the trail making tests a and B.

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Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Medical Centre, Mainz, Germany.


The majority of patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) suffer from significant executive dysfunctions. To investigate the time course of executive functions during antidepressant treatment, repeated measures of executive functions are necessary. In order to avoid practice effects, the assessment of alternate forms is suggested. The aim of this study was to compare the processing times of four alternate versions of the Trail Making Test (TMT) A and B in patients with MDD. Fifty-five subjects with DSM-IV MDD were included in the study. We analyzed mean processing times and retest reliability of the four versions of TMT A and B. Mean processing times did not differ between the four tested versions of TMT A and B. Retest reliability of TMT A and B was between 0.76 and 0.89 and between 0.86 and 0.94, respectively. Because of their identical difficulty and high reliability, the herein described versions of the TMT A and B are suitable for sequential testing of executive functioning.

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