Abstract

Objective

This study examines the validity of the NAB Screening Module (screening module of the neuropsychological assessment battery, S-NAB) in an acute traumatic brain injury (TBI) inpatient population and provides psychometric evaluation of an original index sensitive to TBI impairment.

Method

The utility of the S-NAB as a TBI screen was examined using a between groups design. One-hundred and four patients with mild complicated to severe TBI were recruited from a consecutive cohort of patients admitted as inpatients to a UK Major Trauma Centre. Ninety-eight control participants were selected from the S-NAB normative sample. All TBI patients completed the S-NAB during their inpatient stay.

Results

Control participants scored significantly higher than TBI participants on the Total Screening index ( t  = 3.626, p  < 0.01), The Attention index ( t  = 7.882, p  < 0.01), and the Executive index ( t  = 5.577, p  < 0.01). A briefer TBI Impairment index of six subtests was constructed which accurately discriminated TBI patients from normative controls ( t  = 9.9, p  < 0.01; Cohen's d  = 1.54). The TBI index had excellent classification accuracy (AUC = 0.83), superior to that of the standard S-NAB indices. The TBI Index, Attention Index, and Total Screening Index demonstrated increasing impairment with increased severity of injury.

Conclusions

The S-NAB TBI index is a robust, reliable screening index for use with acute TBI patients, which is sensitive to the effects of acute TBI. It affords a briefer cognitive screen than the S-NAB and demonstrates a dose response relationship to TBI severity.

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