L. van den Berg
M. de Visser
- The verbal fluency index: Dutch normative data for cognitive testing in ALS
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration
- Volume | Issue number
- 15 | 5-6
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Medicine (AMC-UvA)
Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Objective: Executive dysfunction occurs in 30-50% of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients and is most frequently assessed with the verbal fluency test. The verbal fluency index (VFI) has been developed to correct for slowness of speech in ALS, and reflects the average thinking time per word. However, its use as a marker of cognitive impairment is hindered by the absence of valid norm scores. Therefore, we provide normative data for the VFI. Methods: Dutch volunteers were demographically matched to the Dutch ALS population and completed the verbal fluency index (one-minute and three-minute spoken letter fluency). Multiple stepwise linear regression was performed to assess the influence of demographic variables, past medical history and medication use. Results: 273 volunteers participated in this study. Educational level was negatively correlated to one-minute and three-minute VFI performance (r = - 0.3 and r = - 0.4, p < 0.001, respectively). No correlations for age, gender, medication and past medical history were found. A formula for standardized z-scores, corrected for educational level, for the one-minute and three-minute VFI was calculated. Conclusions: We provide Dutch normative data for the spoken verbal fluency index, which can be used internationally, but validation in other languages is recommended. The findings illustrate the importance of valid disease-specific norm scores for time-dependent cognitive tests in ALS.
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