Reconsidering the Word Memory Test as a Memory Measure in Traumatic Brain Injury

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Abstract

Objective

This study examined relationships among traumatic brain injury (TBI) severity, the Word Memory Test (WMT), and California Verbal Learning Test-Second Edition (CVLT-II).

Method

Participants (N = 104) passed WMT validity indices and were categorized by TBI severity on the basis of medical records. Outcome measures included norm-referenced scores on the CVLT-II and WMT.

Results

Participants grouped by TBI severity significantly differed on the CVLT-II but not WMT. Post-traumatic amnesia (PTA) significantly correlated with the CVLT-II but not WMT. In a non-medicolegal sample subset (N = 61), TBI severity groups significantly differed on CVLT-II and WMT FR; PTA significantly correlated with the CVLT-II and WMT FR. CVLT-II impairment groups differed on all WMT variables. Participants grouped by neuroimaging findings differed on CVLT-II but not WMT. WMT FR predicted two-level TBI severity using logistic regression but did not contribute in a model including the CVLT-II.

Conclusion

Overall, WMT memory subtests appeared less sensitive to TBI severity than the CVLT-II.

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