WAIS-IV reliable digit span is no more accurate than age corrected scaled score as an indicator of invalid performance in a veteran sample undergoing evaluation for mTBI

Robert J Spencer, Bradley N Axelrod, Lauren L Drag, Brigid Waldron-Perrine, Percival H Pangilinan, Linas A Bieliauskas
Clinical Neuropsychologist 2013, 27 (8): 1362-72
Reliable Digit Span (RDS) is a measure of effort derived from the Digit Span subtest of the Wechsler intelligence scales. Some authors have suggested that the age-corrected scaled score provides a more accurate measure of effort than RDS. This study examined the relative diagnostic accuracy of the traditional RDS, an extended RDS including the new Sequencing task from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-IV, and the age-corrected scaled score, relative to performance validity as determined by the Test of Memory Malingering. Data were collected from 138 Veterans seen in a traumatic brain injury clinic. The traditional RDS (≤ 7), revised RDS (≤ 11), and Digit Span age-corrected scaled score ( ≤ 6) had respective sensitivities of 39%, 39%, and 33%, and respective specificities of 82%, 89%, and 91%. Of these indices, revised RDS and the Digit Span age-corrected scaled score provide the most accurate measure of performance validity among the three measures.

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