The Rey 15-item memory test and Spanish-speaking older adults

Clin Neuropsychol. 2011 Oct;25(7):1253-65. doi: 10.1080/13854046.2011.609839. Epub 2011 Sep 27.


The Rey 15-Item Memory Test (Rey-15) is a standard instrument frequently employed to assess suspect effort/motivation in English-speaking populations. The objective of the current study was to examine the influence of socio-demographic variables on this measure and provide normative data for use with Spanish speakers. The performance of 130 primarily Spanish-speaking, cognitively intact, older adults (ages 50-69) on six Rey-15 scoring systems and six embedded measures of suboptimal performance was examined. Approximately 8% of the sample scored below the recommended cut-off of 9 on the Rey-15. The lowest recall score of 6 was also the minimum score obtained on the recognition trial. Additionally, scores on the alternative Rey-15 scoring methods and the embedded measures of suboptimal performance were lower in comparison to the normative data presently utilized with English speakers, yet comparable across the examined measures. Basic mental status and education level were significant predictors of Rey-15 performance; however, results indicate that these variables may share a close relationship with socio-demographic characteristics such as acculturation level and years of U.S. residency. Preliminary normative data on the Rey-15 for primarily Spanish-speaking older adults, stratified by education, is provided in conjunction with a recommendation for the use of the recognition trial when interpreting results.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Demography
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Humans
  • Language*
  • Male
  • Mental Recall / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Reference Values
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Verbal Learning / physiology*