Vol. 3 nº 4 - Oct/Nov/Dec de 2009
Original Article Páginas: 315 a 320

Semantic Verbal Fluency test in dementia: Preliminary retrospective analysis

Authors Marcos Lopes1, Sonia Maria Dozzi Brucki2, Viviana Giampaoli3, Letícia Lessa Mansur4


keywords: verbal fluency, evaluation, cognition, dementia.

The Semantic Verbal Fluency (SVF) test entails the generation of words from a given category within a pre-set time of 60 seconds. Objectives: To verify whether socio-demographic and clinical data of individuals with dementia correlate with the performance on the SVF test and to ascertain whether differences among the criteria of number of answers, clusters and data spread over the intervals, predict clinical results. Methods: This was a retrospective study of 49 charts of demented patients classified according to the Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) scale. We correlated education, age and gender, as well as CDR and Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) scores with the number of answers, clustering and switching distributed over four 15-second intervals on the SVF test. Results: The correlation between number of answers and quartiles was weak (r=0.407, p=0.004; r=0.484, p< 0.001) but correlation between the number of clusters and responses was strong (r=0.883, p< 0.001). The number of items on the SVF was statistically significant with MMSE score (p=0.01) and there was a tendency for significance on the CDR (p=0.06). The results indicated little activity regarding what we propose to call cluster recalling in the two groups. Discussion: The SVF test, using number of items generated, was found to be more effective than classic screening tests in terms of speed and ease of application in patients with CDR 2 and 3.


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