Unveiling the Diversity: A Systematic Review of the Famous Faces Tests
Ende, Demi van den
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Background: The lack of a standardized protocol for the Famous Face(s) Test has led to a wide range of variations across studies. These include differences in the stimuli (e.g. type, number), tasks used to assess performance (e.g. recall, recognition), and many more factors, all, making it difficult to compare results. Establishing a standardized protocol for the Famous Faces Test would be helpful not least because it has been found (in four previous studies) to be sensitive to detect preclinical Alzheimer’s disease. The current systematic review ex¬¬plored differences and similarities between the Famous Faces Tests used in studies conducted over the past five years in an attempt to make recommendations for standardizing the protocol for this test. Methods: This systematic review was conducted in accordance with the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis) guidelines. In April 2023, four databases (PubMed, PsychINFO, Web of Science and Embase) were systematically searched using specific keywords. Studies were selected based on predetermined in- and exclusion criteria that would include studies with performance based measures on the Famous Faces Test in individuals with cognitively normal aging and those along the continuum of Alzheimer’s disease. A quality assessment was created to explore and asses the Famous Faces Tests used in the included studies across multiple domains, including stimuli characteristics, stimulus selection, and measurements. Results: In total, 11 studies were included. Variations between FFTs used in these studies on all three domains were apparent. Main differences in stimuli characteristics were the number of stimuli, stimulus duration and control measure, whereas main differences for stimulus selection were the details of reporting, and finally, within measurements, main differences existed in type of tasks and scoring method. Discussion: This review revealed the many differences in the FFTs used across studies underscoring the necessity of a standardized protocol/FFT. This could then be used in the clinic and perhaps compared to what is currently used in diagnostic practice to detect (pre)clinical dementia in the earliest stages.