Considering the base rates of low performance in cognitively healthy older adults improves the accuracy to identify neurocognitive impairment with the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease-Neuropsychological Assessment Battery (CERAD-NAB).
It is common for some healthy older adults to obtain low test scores when a battery of neuropsychological tests is administered, which increases the risk of the clinician misdiagnosing cognitive impairment. Thus, base rates of healthy individuals' low scores are required to more accurately interpret neuropsychological results. At present, this information is not available for the German version of the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease-Neuropsychological Assessment Battery (CERAD-NAB), a frequently used battery in the USA and in German-speaking Europe. This study aimed to determine the base rates of low scores for the CERAD-NAB and to tabulate a summary figure of cut-off scores and numbers of low scores to aid in clinical decision making. The base rates of low scores on the ten German CERAD-NAB subscores were calculated from the German CERAD-NAB normative sample (N = 1,081) using six different cut-off scores (i.e., 1st, 2.5th, 7th, 10th, 16th, and 25th percentile). Results indicate that high percentages of one or more "abnormal" scores were obtained, irrespective of the cut-off criterion. For example, 60.6% of the normative sample obtained one or more scores at or below the 10th percentile. These findings illustrate the importance of considering the prevalence of low scores in healthy individuals. The summary figure of CERAD-NAB base rates is an important supplement for test interpretation and can be used to improve the diagnostic accuracy of neurocognitive disorders.
Mistridis, P; Egli, SC; Iverson, GL; Berres, M; Willmes, K; Welsh-Bohmer, KA; Monsch, AU
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