This study examines the sensitivity of two different analyses for comparing verbal
fluency test performance of participants with mild cognitive impairment resulting from
traumatic brain injury (TBI) and healthy controls. The study uses a cluster analysis based
on Troyer, Moscovitch, and Winocur (1997) of switching and clustering for the first time
in a TBI-only sample. The sensitivity of number of correct words produced, a standard
measure of verbal fluency performance, is also examined. The effects of demographic
variables of education and estimated verbal IQ are reported. Participants included 31
adults with TBI and 26 adult controls. Significant group differences were found in
estimated verbal IQ. Number of correct words produced was no more sensitive for
detecting group differences in verbal fluency performance than total responses (correct
and incorrect) in letter and category fluency conditions, but may be more sensitive in
category switching. No group differences were found in any cluster analysis measure
when estimated verbal IQ and total responses were controlled. Results highlighted the
importance of controlling for demographic variables including estimated verbal IQ when
interpreting verbal fluency data and that complex, multifaceted analyses of verbal fluency performance may not add to the ability of verbal fluency to detect mild cognitive impairments following TBI. Clinical implications are discussed.
University of Minnesota M.A. thesis. October 2011. Major: Speech-language-hearing sciences. Advisor: Dr. Mary R. T. Kennedy. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 73 pages, appendices A-B.
Peterson, Michael James.
Verbal fluency performance after traumatic brain injury: a cluster analysis..
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