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Alzheimers Res Ther. 2018 Jan 22;10(1):6. doi: 10.1186/s13195-017-0333-z.

A novel language-neutral Visual Cognitive Assessment Test (VCAT): validation in four Southeast Asian countries.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, National Neuroscience Institute, Singapore, Singapore.
2
Gerontology Research Programme, Department of Psychological Medicine, National University Health System, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore.
3
Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neurology, Hasan Sadikin Hospital, Padjadjaran University, Kota Bandung, Jawa Barat, Indonesia.
4
Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Jalan Universiti, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
5
Department of Neurosciences, Philippine General Hospital, University of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines.
6
Department of Neurosciences, Asian Hospital and Medical Center, Manila, Philippines.
7
Department of Neurology, National Neuroscience Institute, Singapore, Singapore. nagaendran.kandiah@singhealth.com.sg.
8
Duke-NUS, Graduate Medical School, Singapore, Singapore. nagaendran.kandiah@singhealth.com.sg.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Cognitive screeners are imperative for early diagnosis of dementia. The Visual Cognitive Assessment Test (VCAT) is a language-neutral, visual-based test which has proven useful for a multilingual population in a single-center study. However, its performance utility is unknown in a wider and more diverse Southeast Asian cohort.

METHODS:

We recruited 164 healthy controls (HC) and 120 cognitively impaired (CI) subjects- 47 mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and 73 mild Alzheimer's disease (AD) dementia participants, from four countries between January 2015 and August 2016 to determine the usefulness of a single version of the VCAT, without translation or adaptation, in a multinational, multilingual population. The VCAT was administered along with established cognitive evaluation.

RESULTS:

The VCAT, without local translation or adaptation, was effective in discriminating between HC and CI subjects (MCI and mild AD dementia). Mean (SD) VCAT scores for HC and CI subjects were 22.48 (3.50) and 14.17 (5.05) respectively. Areas under the curve for Montreal Cognitive Assessment (0.916, 95% CI 0.884-0.948) and the VCAT (0.905, 95% CI 0.870-0.940) in discriminating between HCs and CIs were comparable. The multiple languages used to administer VCAT in four countries did not significantly influence test scores.

CONCLUSIONS:

The VCAT without the need for language translation or cultural adaptation showed satisfactory discriminative ability and was effective in a multinational, multilingual Southeast Asian population.

KEYWORDS:

Alzheimer’s disease; Cognitive test; Dementia; Mild cognitive impairment; Screening tool

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