Interpreting the trail making test following traumatic brain injury: comparison of traditional time scores and derived indices

J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2005 Oct;27(7):897-906. doi: 10.1080/1380339049091290.


The purpose of this study was to examine the clinical application of traditional time scores and various derived indices from the Trail Making Test (TMT) in a sample of 571 patients with acute traumatic brain injury (TBI). Participants were classified into four injury severity groups. A clear linear relation between injury severity and TMT performance was demonstrated, with the more severely brain injured patients performing more poorly on most measures. Hierarchical logistic regression analysis of TMT time scores across binary extreme groups based on injury severity resulted in high classification rates for patients with very mild TBI (93.0% correctly classified) and low classification rates for patients with moderate to severe TBI (50.0% correctly classified). However, TMT derived indices did not provide a unique contribution to test interpretation beyond what is already available from Part A and B separately.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Brain Injuries / classification
  • Brain Injuries / diagnosis*
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology
  • Brain Injuries / psychology
  • Demography
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Trail Making Test*
  • Trauma Severity Indices*