Assessment of apraxia: inter-rater reliability of a new apraxia test, association between apraxia and other cognitive deficits and prevalence of apraxia in a rehabilitation setting

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Abstract

Objective

To investigate the inter-rater reliability of a new apraxia test. Furthermore to examine the association of apraxia with other neuropsychological impairments and the prevalence of apraxia in a rehabilitation setting on the basis of the new test.

Design

Cross-sectional cohort study, involving 100 patients with a first stroke admitted to a rehabilitation centre in the Netherlands.

Measures

General patient characteristics and stroke-related aspects. Cognitive screening involving apraxia, visuospatial scanning, abstract thinking and reasoning, memory, attention, planning and aphasia.

Results

The indices for inter-rater agreement range from excellent to poor. Significant correlations are found between apraxia and visuospatial scanning, memory, attention, planning and aphasia. The patients with apraxia perform significantly worse than the patients without apraxia on memory, the time needed to complete the tests for scanning and attention, and aphasia. The prevalence of apraxia is 25.3% in the total group, 51.3% in the left hemisphere stroke patients and 6.0% in the right hemisphere stroke patients. Patients with and without apraxia do not differ significantly concerning age, gender and type of stroke.

Conclusion

The apraxia test has been shown to be a reliable instrument. Apraxia is often associated with aphasia, memory problems and mental slowness. This study shows that on the basis of the apraxia test, the prevalence of apraxia among patients in the rehabilitation centre is high, especially among patients with left hemisphere lesions.

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