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Development of a Contextualized Version of the Multiple Errands Test for People with Substance Dependence

  • Carlos Valls-Serrano (a1) (a2), Antonio Verdejo-García (a3) (a4), Xavier Noël (a5) and Alfonso Caracuel (a1) (a6)


Background: Substance dependence is associated with deficits in several areas of executive functioning, such as planning and multitasking. Traditional tests of executive functioning have been criticized for their low ecological validity. Shallice and Burgess (1991) developed the Multiple Errands Test (MET), where participants are required to perform multiple tasks in a real-world setting. In this study, we aimed to adapt the MET for use in populations with substance dependence. Objectives: This study aimed to: (1) examine the applicability of a contextualized version of the Multiple Errands Test, namely, the Multiple Errands Test – Contextualized Version (MET-CV); (2) study the testing context reliability and convergent validity of MET-CV scores; (3) compare the performance of people with substance dependence to a control group. Methods: Data were collected from 60 participants with substance dependence and 30 healthy controls. Both groups performed a neuropsychological assessment, which consisted of the MET-CV and traditional neuropsychological tests (Letter Number Sequencing, Zoo Map Test, Revised Strategy Application Test, Information Sampling Test, Stockings of Cambridge). Results: The MET-CV has adequate testing context reliability and moderate convergent validity relative to traditional planning measures. People with substance dependence (PWSD) showed significant deficits in executive function tests compared to healthy controls, most notably on the MET-CV rather than on traditional neuropsychological tests. Conclusions: The MET-CV can be feasibly applied in the context of therapeutic communities treatment in PWSD. The MET-CV showed adequate reliability and validity, and detected planning deficits in PWSD. (JINS, 2018, 24, 347–359)


Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to: Carlos Valls-Serrano, Mind, Brain and Behavior Research Center (CIMCYC), University of Granada, Campus Cartuja, s/n, Granada, CP: 18071. E-mail:


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Development of a Contextualized Version of the Multiple Errands Test for People with Substance Dependence

  • Carlos Valls-Serrano (a1) (a2), Antonio Verdejo-García (a3) (a4), Xavier Noël (a5) and Alfonso Caracuel (a1) (a6)


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