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Dissertation

A Standardization Pilot Study of the Neuropsychological Screening Battery for Hispanics (NeSBHIS)

1 January 2015

Abstract

By 2020, the Hispanic population is projected to top 59.7 million. As the Hispanic community grows, so too does their need for health care services. Yet, 81% of surveyed neuropsychologists felt unprepared and unequipped to assess cognitive functioning in Hispanics. Listed reasons were 1) current neuropsychological measures do not account for ethnic cultural factors, 2) the availability of culturally and linguistically appropriate neuropsychological tests is limited, and 3) cognitive norms for Spanish-speaking Hispanics is minimal. In 1996, the Neuropsychological Screening Battery for Hispanics (NeSBHIS), a culturally and linguistically appropriate neuropsychological measure for Spanish-speaking Hispanics, was developed. The present study sought to add to the NeSBHIS normative database by assessing monolingual and Spanish dominant bilingual Hispanics in the states of Oregon and Texas. The impact of factors like education, acculturation, and language proficiency (i.e., monolingual Spanish and Spanish-dominant bilingual) on NeSBHIS subtest performances was also assessed. Fifty-six Spanish-speaking Hispanics, ranging in age from 18 to 60, were administered the NeSBHIS and the Marín Acculturation Scale. Results revealed that education significantly influenced all 10 neuropsychological subtests that comprise the NeSBHIS, with the largest impact seen on Digit Span, Digit Symbol Coding, and Raven’s Progressive Matrices. In contrast, no significant differences were found between level of acculturation and the cognitive domains of memory, visuospatial, mental control, reasoning, and psychomotor functioning. Significant covariate relationships were noted between age, education, and/or language for several cognitive domains. In addition, bilingual participants performed better than monolingual participants on Digit Symbol Coding. No notable differences were found with respect to language proficiency on any NeSBHIS language subtest. Clinical implications are discussed.


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