Bells Test: Are there differences in performance between adult groups aged 40-59 and 60-75?
Silvio Cesar Escovar Paiva1; Vanisa Fante Viapiana2; Caroline de Oliveira Cardoso2; Rochele Paz Fonseca2
keywords: age, neuropsychological assessment, Bells Test, focused attention, visual hemineglect.
OBJECTIVE: To verify whether differences exist between groups of Brazilian adults aged 40-59 and 60-75 in respective performance on the Bells Test, given the dearth of literature investigating the relationship between focused visual attention and the age factor.
METHODS: Eighty-four neurologically healthy adults (half aged 40-59 and half 60-75) with high educational level (40-59 years group: M=17.75 years' education; SD=4.00; 60-75 years group: M=15.85 years education; SD=3.19) were assessed using the Bells Test. Data on accuracy and processing speed were compared between groups by ANCOVA, controlled for the covariates education and frequency of reading and writing habits.
RESULTS: There were no significant differences between the age groups.
CONCLUSION: It is suggested that aging influences sustained and focused attention and speed processing after 75 years of age on visual cancellation paradigms, when executive and attentional changes tend to be more marked. Further studies should investigate healthy older and oldest-old adults, as well as groups with low and intermediate educational backgrounds. In addition, Brazilian clinical populations should also be characterized, particularly those with neurological disorders that might have visual hemineglect.