A meta-analytic review of verbal fluency performance in patients with traumatic brain injury

Neuropsychology. 2004 Oct;18(4):621-8. doi: 10.1037/0894-4105.18.4.621.


A meta-analysis of 30 studies with 1,269 participants was conducted to investigate the sensitivity of tests of verbal fluency to the presence of traumatic brain injury (TBI). As has been found for patients with focal frontal lobe injuries (but not for patients with focal temporal lobe lesions), TBI patients were comparably impaired on tests of phonemic and semantic fluency. The phonemic fluency deficit could not be accounted for by patients' level of premorbid or current verbal IQ and was also substantially (although not significantly) in excess of the deficit on a measure of psychomotor speed. Phonemic fluency was also significantly more sensitive to the presence of TBI than was the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bias
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / pathology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests / statistics & numerical data
  • Phonetics
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Speech Disorders / etiology*
  • Speech Production Measurement
  • Verbal Behavior / physiology*