Abstract

Objective: The Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) is often regarded as a relatively culture-free measure of executive function. However, Hispanics' performance on the WCST can be affected by educational attainment and the errors on the test have been shown to be more sensitive to cognitive decline in Hispanics as compared to non-Hispanics. The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether years of education and diagnosis were predictors of WCST performance in a Hispanic sample. Method: Participants were 93 monolingual Spanish-speakers referred for neuropsychological testing with cognitive complaints. Forty-six participants (mean age = 62.9, SD = 13.7) were diagnosed with dementia or mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Forty-seven participants (mean age = 67.2, SD = 13.13) were diagnosed with a range of non-neurodegenerative conditions. Results: A linear regression was conducted between the WCST categories completed (M = 1.8, SD = 1.8) and WCST perseverative errors (M = 58.6, SD = 34.4), years of education (M = 6.5, SD = 3.8), and diagnosis. Years of education (β = .27) and diagnosis (β = .49) were significant predictors of categories completed on the WCST (F = 12.03; p = .000), but only dementia and MCI diagnosis (β = −.29) significantly predicted the number of perseverative errors on the WCST (F = 3.45; p = .038). Conclusion(s): Findings suggest that when assessing monolingual Hispanics, certain aspects of the WCST performance may be affected by years of education in individuals diagnosed with neurodegenerative conditions. Thus, these performances may not accurately depict cognitive impairment in this population as the WCST is strongly affected by demographic variables.