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Reliable Change on the Boston Naming Test

  • Bonnie C. Sachs (a1), John A. Lucas (a1), Glenn E. Smith (a2), Robert J. Ivnik (a2), Ronald C. Petersen (a3), Neill R. Graff-Radford (a4) and Otto Pedraza (a1)...


Serial assessments are commonplace in neuropsychological practice and used to document cognitive trajectory for many clinical conditions. However, true change scores may be distorted by measurement error, repeated exposure to the assessment instrument, or person variables. The present study provides reliable change indices (RCI) for the Boston Naming Test, derived from a sample of 844 cognitively normal adults aged 56 years and older. All participants were retested between 9 and 24 months after their baseline exam. Results showed that a 4-point decline during a 9–15 month retest period or a 6-point decline during a 16–24 month retest period represents reliable change. These cutoff values were further characterized as a function of a person's age and family history of dementia. These findings may help clinicians and researchers to characterize with greater precision the temporal changes in confrontation naming ability. (JINS, 2012, 18, 375–378)


Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to: Bonnie C. Sachs, Department of Neurology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23298. E-mail:


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Reliable Change on the Boston Naming Test

  • Bonnie C. Sachs (a1), John A. Lucas (a1), Glenn E. Smith (a2), Robert J. Ivnik (a2), Ronald C. Petersen (a3), Neill R. Graff-Radford (a4) and Otto Pedraza (a1)...


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