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Months backward test: a review of its use in clinical studies

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dc.contributor.author Meagher, James
dc.contributor.author Leonard, Maeve
dc.contributor.author Donoghue, Laura
dc.contributor.author O'Regan, Niamh A.
dc.contributor.author Timmons, Suzanne
dc.contributor.author Exton, Chris
dc.contributor.author Cullen, Walter
dc.contributor.author Dunne, Colum P.
dc.contributor.author Adamis, Dimitrios
dc.contributor.author MacLullich, Alasdair M.
dc.contributor.author Meagher, David
dc.date.accessioned 2015-11-16T16:20:41Z
dc.date.available 2015-11-16T16:20:41Z
dc.date.issued 2015
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10344/4726
dc.description peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description.abstract To review the use of the Months Backwards Test (MBT) in clinical and research contexts. METHODS: We conducted a systematic review of reports relating to the MBT based upon a search of PsychINFO and MEDLINE between January 1980 and December 2014. Only reports that specifically described findings pertaining to the MBT were included. Findings were considered in terms of rating procedures, testing performance, psychometric properties, neuropsychological studies and use in clinical populations. RESULTS: We identified 22 data reports. The MBT is administered and rated in a variety of ways with very little consistency across studies. It has been used to assess various cognitive functions including focused and sustained attention as well as central processing speed. Performance can be assessed in terms of the ability to accurately complete the test without errors (“MB accuracy”), and time taken to complete the test (“MB duration”). Completion time in cognitively intact subjects is usually < 20 s with upper limits of 60-90 s typically applied in studies. The majority of cognitively intact adults can complete the test without error such that any errors of omission are strongly suggestive of cognitive dysfunction. Coverage of clinical populations, including those with significant cognitive difficulties is high with the majority of subjects able to engage with MBT procedures. Performance correlates highly with other cognitive tests, especially of attention, including the digit span backwards, trailmaking test B, serial threes and sevens, tests of simple and complex choice reaction time, delayed story recall and standardized list learning measures. Test-retest and inter-rater reliability are high (both > 0.90). Functional magnetic resonance imaging studies comparing the months forward test and MBT indicate greater involvement of more complex networks (bilateral middle and inferior frontal gyri, the posterior parietal cortex and the left anterior cingulate gyrus) for backwards cognitive processing. The MBT has been usefully applied to the study of a variety of clinical presentations, for both cognitive and functional assessment. In addition to the assessment of major neuropsychiatric conditions such as delirium, dementia and Mild Cognitive Impairment, the MBT has been used in the assessment of concussion, profiling of neurocognitive impairments in organic brain disorders and Parkinson’s disease, prediction of delirium risk in surgical patients and medication compliance in diabetes. The reported sensitivity for acute neurocognitive disturbance/delirium in hospitalised patients is estimated at 83%-93%. Repeated testing can be used to identify deteriorating cognitive function over time. CONCLUSION: The MBT is a simple, versatile tool that is sensitive to significant cognitive impairment. Performance can be assessed according to accuracy and speed of performance. However, greater consistency in administration and rating is needed. We suggest two approaches to assessing performance - a simple (pass/ fail) method as well as a ten point scale for rating test performance (467). en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries World J Psychiatry;22, 5 (3), pp. 305-314
dc.relation.uri http://www.wjgnet.com/esps/NewsArticleDetail.aspx?id=17419
dc.subject cognition en_US
dc.subject assessment en_US
dc.subject Months backward test en_US
dc.subject dementia en_US
dc.title Months backward test: a review of its use in clinical studies en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_published_reviewed en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.5498/wjp.v5.i3.305
dc.contributor.sponsor HRB en_US
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess en_US
dc.internal.rssid 1585754


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