Objective: To investigate how useful the Adult Memory and Information Processing Battery Task A (AMIPB) is as a test of the speed of information processing in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) by comparing various methods of presenting the test and assessing the reliability (test-retest and inter-rater) and utility of each version.
Design: Each patient was assessed twice verbally by the same assessor 1-2 weeks apart. Then 1-2 weeks later half were assessed by another observer, and half were assessed by the first observer using a written method.
Setting: A specialist young disabled unit.
Subjects: Thirty-three patients with MS.
Measures: The AMIPB, the Short Memory-Orientation-Concentration Test (SOMC) and the Barthel ADL Index.
Results: The average (SD) number of correct responses after 4 min was 23.3 (18.6), median 21. The test-retest reliability (n = 24) of the 4-min AMIPB was high (r = 0.98) and the difference of the score ranged from -7 to 9: median 3, mean (SD) 1.88 (4.01) and interquartile range 0 to 3.25. The inter-observer reliability (n = 12) of the 4-min AMIPB was also high (r = 0.97) and the mean (SD) differences between scores were 4.3 (5.8), median 4, range +19 to -2. The score at 60 seconds and the score at 240 seconds were highly correlated (r = 0.98). The scores obtained verbally and by writing were closely correlated (r = 0.99).
Conclusions: The AMIPB used over 120 seconds with verbal responses is a reliable and reasonable test for major information-processing deficits.