David Schretlen, PhD
The BTA is an auditory perception task that measures divided attention in the verbal-linguistic system. It provides a rapid, bedside assessment of attentional impairment among nonaphasic hearing adults, including those with visual and motor impairments that preclude tests which require visual scanning or manual dexterity. It is standardised for use with adults ages 17-82 years who may distinguish between spoken numbers and spoken letters of the alphabet.
The BTA consists of two parallel forms presented via audio CD. On Form N (Numbers), a voice reads ten lists of letters and numbers that increase in length from 4-18 elements. The respondent's task is to disregard the letters presented and count how many numbers were read aloud. Form L (Letters) consists of the same ten lists, but the respondent must disregard the numbers and count how many letters were read aloud. The number of correctly monitored lists is summed across both forms, with raw scores ranging from 0-20. Test materials include the Professional Manual, the Stimulus Audio CD and the Scoring Form.
The Professional Manual includes information about the development and validation, administration and scoring, interpretation, normative procedures, reliability and validity of the BTA. Demographically corrected normative data in the form of raw score-to-percentile conversions are based on a sample of 667 normal adults.
Available data indicate that the BTA and its two forms have acceptable reliability in the form of internal consistency, between-forms correlation and test-retest stability. Research supports the construct validity of the BTA in relation to other accepted measures of working memory, as well as its criterion-related validity in the form of sensitivity to neuropsychiatric conditions that are characterised by attentional impairment. Research further demonstrates criterion-related validity of the BTA in relation to various aspects of everyday functioning in neuropsychiatric patients and normal adults.
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