Qualitative assessment of verbal fluency performance in culturally and linguistically diverse patients in the Memory Clinic
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Background: The aim of the current study was to obtain a better understanding of the use of qualitative analysis of the Verbal Fluency task (VF task) in CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) patients in the Netherlands. The qualitative analysis of the animal category can provide more information for the detection of Alzheimer’s disease or memory problems by means of clustering and switching. Also, the influence of education on the verbal fluency task performance is examined. Methods: This retrospective study included data from 47 patients with a non-Western background, who visited the Alzheimer Centre of the Erasmus University Medical Center. Due to difficulty to predict a pure Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis, the presence or absence of a dementia diagnosis is used for the analyses. And low scores on two more extensive memory tests defined memory problems. The system of Verhage was used to determine the education level. Two independent raters assessed the verbal fluency by recording clusters and switches. Results: Inter-rater reliability levels were high. Results of the study revealed that the VF task variables had no predictive value for a dementia diagnosis, but two VF task variables did have a predictive value for memory problems. As for the influence of education, we found that the higher the education level, the higher the total score on the VF task and the number of switches Conclusion: To enhance diagnostics for CALD patients, future studies should take into account that the VF task animal category may not be useful as a predictor, due to low ecological relevance. Clustering and switching in VF task animal category can be a useful tool for predicting memory disorders.