Sociocultural and Language Differences in Performance on the Trail Making Test

  • Ondrej Bezdicek Ondrej Bezdicek, PhD. Psychologist, Department of Neurology and Centre of Clinical Neuroscience Charles University in Prague 1st Faculty of Medicine, and General University Hospital in Prague Katerinska 30, 128 21, Praha 2, Czech Republic phone: +4202 2496 5524 mobile: +420 774 895 795 fax: +4202 2492 2678 e-mail: ondrej.bezdicek@gmail.com
  • Ladislav Moták Université de Toulouse-Le Mirail, Cognition, Langues, Langage, Ergonomie – Laboratoire Travail et Cognition, UMR 5263 CNRS; Toulouse, France
  • David J. Schretlen Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  • Marek Preiss National Institute of Mental Health; Klecany, Czech Republic
  • Bradley N. Axelrod John D. Dingell Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center; Detroit, Michigan, USA
  • Tomáš Nikolai Department of Neurology and Centre of Clinical Neuroscience, First Faculty of Medicine and General University Hospital in Prague, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic
  • Javier Peña Department of Methods and Experimental Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Education, University of Deusto; Bilbao, Spain
  • Natalia Ojeda Department of Methods and Experimental Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Education, University of Deusto; Bilbao, Spain
  • Evžen Růžička Department of Neurology and Centre of Clinical Neuroscience, First Faculty of Medicine and General University Hospital in Prague, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic

Abstract

The aim of this study was to test whether a Czech version of the Trail Making Test (TMT) normative data yield scores that approximate those based on English (North American) and Spanish normative samples. In all samples, TMT Parts A and B were administered according to the guidelines. Completion times for healthy adults from the Czech Republic (n = 422, Bezdicek et al., 2012), the United States (n = 325, Schretlen et al., 2008) and Spain (n = 348, Ojeda, Peña, unpublished data), stratified for age and education, were compared. Czechs took less time to complete TMT-B than English and Spaniards in 70–74 and older age groups (all ps < .01) even after covarying for education, although the amount of variance explained by language (i.e. Czech/Spanish/English) was small (0.3%; p < .001). In addition, TMT-A performance was significantly faster in Czech and English (North American) populations than in Spaniards. In conclusion, this demonstrates a lack of sociocultural equivalence on TMT-A and B, suggesting the need for adjustment of available TMT norms for use in different cultures.

Author Biography

Ondrej Bezdicek, Ondrej Bezdicek, PhD. Psychologist, Department of Neurology and Centre of Clinical Neuroscience Charles University in Prague 1st Faculty of Medicine, and General University Hospital in Prague Katerinska 30, 128 21, Praha 2, Czech Republic phone: +4202 2496 5524 mobile: +420 774 895 795 fax: +4202 2492 2678 e-mail: ondrej.bezdicek@gmail.com
psychologist, post-doc, Department of Neurology and Centre of Clinical Neuroscience

References

Albert, M. S., DeKosky, S. T., Dickson, D., Dubois, B., Feldman, H. H., Fox, N. C., ... Phelps C. H. (2011). The diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer’s disease: recommendations from the National Institute on Aging-Alzheimer’s Association workgroups on diagnostic guidelines for Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s & Dementia, 7(3), 270–9.

Ardila, A. & Moreno, S. (2001). Neuropsychological test performance in Arauco Indians: An exploratory study. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 7, 510–515.

Arsenault-Lapierre, G., Whitehead, V., Belleville, S., Massoud, F., Bergman, H., & Chertkow, H. (2011). Mild cognitive impairment subcategories depend on the source of norms. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 33(5), 596–603.

Ashendorf, L., Jefferson, A. L., O’Connor, M. K., Chaisson, C., Green, R. C., & Stern, R. A. (2008). Trail Making Test errors in normal aging, mild cognitive impairment, and dementia. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 23, 129–37. doi: 10.1016/j.acn.2007.11.005. Epub 2008 Feb 21.

Axelrod, B., Aharon-Peretz, J., Tomer, R., & Fisher, T. (2000). Creating interpretations guidelines for the Hebrew Trail Making Test. Applied Neuropsychology, 7(3), 186–188.

Bezdicek, O., Motak, L., Axelrod, B. N., Preiss, M., Nikolai, T., Vyhnalek, M., ... Ruzicka, E. Czech version of the Trail Making Test: Normative Data and Clinical Utility. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 27, 906–914.

Cosentino, S., Manly, J, & Mungas D. (2007). Do reading tests measure the same construct in multiethnic and multilingual older persons? Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 13(2), 228–36.

Dickinson, M. D., Hiscock, M. (2011). The Flynn effect in neuropsychological assessment. Applied Neuropsychology, 18(2), 136–42.

Dietz, A. (2011). Language. In J. S. Kreutzer, J. DeLuca, & B. Caplan (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology (pp. 1425–1426) New York: Springer.

Drane, D. L., Yuspeh, R. L., Huthwaite, J. S., & Klingler, L. K. (2002). Demographic characteristics and normative observations for derived-trail making test indices. Neuropsychiatry, Neuropsychology, and Behavioral Neurology, 15, 39–43.

Fernández, A. L., Marcopulos, B. A. (2008). A comparison of normative data for the Trail Making Test from several countries: equivalence of norms and considerations for interpretation. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 49, 239–46.

Greenfield, P. M. (1997). You can’t take it with you. Why ability assessments don’t cross cultures. American Psychologist, 52, 1115–1124.

Hester, R. L., Kinsella, G. J., Ong, B., & McGregor, J. (2005). Demographic influences on baseline and derived scores from the trail making test in healthy older Australian adults. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 19, 45–54. doi:10.1080/13854040490524137

Lageman, S. K. (2011). Cultural Diversity in Neuropsychology. In J. S. Kreutzer, J. DeLuca, & B. Caplan (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology (pp. 752–754) New York: Springer.

Lamberty, G. J., Putnam, S. H., Chatel, D. M., Bielauskas, L. A., & Adams, K. M. (1994). Derived Trail Making Test indices: A preliminary report. Neuropsychiatry, Neuropsychology, and Behavioral Neurology, 7, 230–234.

Litvan, I., Goldman, J. G., Tröster, A. I., Schmand, B. A., Weintraub, D. , Petersen, R. C., ... Emre, M. (2012). Diagnostic criteria for mild cognitive impairment in Parkinson’s disease: Movement Disorder Society Task Force guidelines. Movement Disorders, 27, 349–356.

Loewenstein, D. A., Argüelles, T., Argüelles, S., Linn-Fuentes, P. (1994). Potential cultural bias in the neuropsychological assessment of the older adult. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 16, 623–629.

Manly, J. J. (2008). Critical issues in cultural neuropsychology: profit from diversity. Neuropsychology Review, 8, 179–183.

Mitrushina, M., Boone, K. B., Razani, J., & D’Elia, L. F. (2005). Handbook of Normative Data for Neuropsychological Assessment. (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Ojeda, N., Aretouli, E., Peña, J., & Schretlen, D. J. (2014). Age differences in cognitive performance: A study of cultural differences in Historical Context. Journal of Neuropsychology. doi: 10.1111/jnp.12059. [Epub ahead of print]

Partington, J. E., Leiter, R. G. (1949). Partington’s Pathways Test. Psychological Service Center Journal, 1, 11–20.

Pedraza, O., Mungas, D. (2008). Measurement in cross-cultural neuropsychology. Neuropsychology Review, 18, 184–93.

Preiss, M. & Preiss, J. (2006). Test cesty. [Trail Making Test. Manual in Czech]. Bratislava: Psychodiagnostika.

Reitan, R. M. (1958). Validity of the Trail Making Test as an indication of organic brain damage. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 8, 271–276.

Reitan, R. M., & Wolfson, D. (1993). The Halstead-Reitan Neuropsychological Test Battery (2nd ed.). Tucson, AZ: Neuropsychology Press.

Schretlen, D. J., Munro, C. A., Anthony, J. C., & Pearlson, G. D. (2003). Examining the range of normal intraindividual variability in neuropsychological test performance. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 9, 864–870. doi:10.1017/S1355617703960061

Schretlen, D. J., Testa, S. M., & Pearlson, G. D. (2010). Calibrated Neuropsychological Normative System professional manual. Lutz, Florida: Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc.

Schretlen, D. J., Testa, S. M., Winicki, J. M., Pearlson, G. D., & Gordon, B. (2008). Frequency and bases of abnormal performance by healthy adults on neuropsychological testing. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 14(3), 436–445.

Soukup, V., Ingram, F., Grady, J. & Schiess, M. (1998). Trail Making Test: issues in normative data selection. Applied Neuropsychology, 5(2), 65–73.

Strauss, E., Sherman, E., & Spreen, O. (2006). A Compendium of Neuropsychological Tests. (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Tabachnick, B. G. & Fidell, L. S. (2007). Using multivariate statistics (5th edn). Boston: Pearson Education.

Testa, S. M., Winicki, J. M., Pearlson, G. D., Gordon, B., Schretlen, D. J. (2009). Accounting for estimated IQ in neuropsychological test performance with regression-based techniques. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 15(6), 1012–1022.

Tombaugh, T. N. (2004). Trail Making Test A and B: normative data stratified by age and education. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 19, 203–14.

Urbánek, T. (2010). Nejpoužívanější psychodiagnostické metody v České republice. [The most used psychological assessment tools in the Czech Republic]. Testfórum 1, 6–9.

U.S. War Department, Adjutant General’s Office. (1944). Army Individual Test Battery. Manual of directions and scoring. Washington, DC: Author.

Van de Vijver, F. & Tanzer, N. (2004). Bias and equivalence in cross-cultural assessment: An overview. Revue européenne de psychologie appliquée, 54, 119–135.

Published
2016-07-13
Section
Neuropsychological Assessment