Abstract

Objective: Appropriate normative data is of critical importance to aide neuropsychologists in arriving at diagnostic conclusions. However, for patients from diverse cultural backgrounds, normative data is often at times hampered by the small samples available in the literature. The current case study highlights the impact that the updated Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS) Spanish normative data has on classification in comparison to the previously published Spanish RBANS version. Method: A 45 year old male who presented with a history of severe traumatic brain injury one year prior to the current assessment. The patient was originally from Mexico and had been living in the United States for 13 years. He had some basic understanding of the English language and had completed six years of formal education. Results: Applying more recent normative data for the RBANS Spanish did change the qualitative interpretation of some scales (i.e., RBANS attention index moved from a scaled score of 68 with the previous normative data to 82 with updated norm). The amount of change in normed values varied between domains, but in general the updated normative data brought the normed values closer to similar measures as assessed by the EIWA-III (Esala de Inteligencia para Adultos-III). Conclusion(s): Clinicians working with individuals from non-English speaking backgrounds frequently are challenged with limited availability of appropriate normative data. The current case highlights potential challenges when applying normative data to results of a brief cognitive screener. Basic psychometric principles for addressing and coalescing these discrepancies are reviewed.