Normative data for the verb fluency test in the adult French-Quebec population and validation study in mild cognitive impairment

Appl Neuropsychol Adult. 2023 Apr 21:1-7. doi: 10.1080/23279095.2023.2201448. Online ahead of print.


Verbal fluency tests are used to assess executive functions and language. The verb fluency test has proven successful in distinguishing healthy individuals (HCs) from participants with pathological conditions. However, few normative and psychometric studies have been published for the verb fluency test. The aim of Study 1 was to provide normative data in the adult population of French Québec for the verb fluency test. The aim of Study 2 was to determine its discriminant validity and test-retest reliability. The normative sample consisted of 424 HCs aged 50-92 years. Multiple linear regressions were used to generate equations for calculating Z-scores. To assess discriminant validity, the performance of 46 HCs was compared with that of 46 participants with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). To determine test-retest reliability, the test was administered twice, 3 months apart, to a group of 25 HCs. Age, sex, and education level were significantly related to performance on the test. The test distinguished the performance of HCs from that of participants with MCI. Test-retest analysis showed that scores had good stability over time. Norms and psychometric data for the verb fluency test will help clinicians and researchers better identify executive and language impairments associated with pathological conditions.

Keywords: Assessment; mild cognitive impairment; norms/normative studies; test validity; verbal fluency.