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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 130  |  Issue : 19  |  Page : 2283-2290

Development and Standardization of a New Cognitive Assessment Test Battery for Chinese Aphasic Patients: A Preliminary Study

1 Department of Neurology, The First People's Hospital of Chenzhou, Chenzhou, Hunan 423000, China
2 Center for Hyperbaric Oxygen and Neurorehabilition, General Hospital of Guangzhou Military Command of People's Liberation Army, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510000, China
3 Department of Neurology, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510000, China

Correspondence Address:
Xiao-Jia Liu
Department of Neurology, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510000
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0366-6999.215326

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Background: Nonlinguistic cognitive impairment has become an important issue for aphasic patients, but currently there are few neuropsychological cognitive assessment tests for it. To get more information on cognitive impairment of aphasic patients, this study aimed to develop a new cognitive assessment test battery for aphasic patients, the Non-language-based Cognitive Assessment (NLCA), and evaluate its utility in Chinese-speaking patients with aphasia. Methods: The NLCA consists of five nonverbal tests, which could assess five nonlinguistic cognitive domains such as visuospatial functions, attention test, memory, reasoning, and executive functions of aphasic patients. All tests are modified from the nonverbal items of the current existed tests with some changes to the characteristics of Chinese culture. The NLCA was tested in 157 participants (including 57 aphasic patients, 50 mild cognitive impairment (MCI) patients, and 50 normal controls), and was compared with other well-established relative neuropsychological tests on the reliability, validity, and utility. Results: The NLCA was fully applicable in the MCI patients and the normal controls, almost working in the aphasic patients (57/62 patients, 91.9%). The NLCA scores were 66.70 ± 6.30, 48.67 ± 15.04, and 77.58 ± 2.56 for the MCI group, the aphasic group, and the control group, respectively , and a significant difference was found among three groups (F = 118.446, P < 0.001). The Cronbach's alpha of the NLCA as an index of internal consistency was 0.805, and the test-retest and interrater reliability was adequate (r=0.977 and r= 0.970, respectively). The correlations of the cognitive subtests and their validation instruments were between 0.540 and 0.670 (all P < 0.05). Spearman's correlation analysis indicated that the coefficient of internal consistency of each subtest itself was higher than other subtests. When choosing the Montreal Cognitive Assessment score of <26 as the diagnostic criteria of cognitive impairment, the area under the curve for all participants in the control and MCI groups was 0.942 (95% confidence interval: 0.895–0.989), and an optimal cutoff point of 75.00 seemed to provide the best balance between sensitivity and specificity. Age (r = −0.406, P < 0.001) was the main influence factor for the NLCA. Conclusions: The NLCA could efficiently differentiate the cognitive impairment patients from the normal controls and is a reliable and valid cognitive assessment test battery to specially find nonlinguistic cognitive function for aphasic patients.

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