The validity of the test of memory malingering (TOMM) with deaf individuals.

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The Clinical neuropsychologist





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OBJECTIVE: Administration of performance validity tests (PVT) during neuropsychological assessments is standard practice, with the Test of Memory Malingering (TOMM) being a commonly used measure. The TOMM has been well validated in hearing populations with various medical and psychiatric backgrounds. A major gap in the literature is the use of the TOMM amongst culturally Deaf individuals who use American Sign Language (ASL) as their first and preferred language. The purpose of this study was to explore the use of the TOMM with this population to determine if there may be differences related to the use of semantic knowledge and recall using signs rather than spoken phonemes.

METHOD: This study recruited 30 culturally Deaf, community-dwelling adults, who self-reported that they were not involved in litigation ordisability claims. In addition to the TOMM, participants were screened for cognitive ability using non-verbal components of the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence, Second Edition (WASI-II) and the Mini Mental State Examination: ASL Version (MMSE:ASL).

RESULTS: Nonverbal intelligence for this sample was within the average range of ability. No participants scored lower than the standard cut-off score for Trial 2 or the Retention Trial on the TOMM (≤44 raw score to indicate invalid responding). Trial 1 performances ranged from 44 to 50, Trial 2 performances ranged from 49 to 50, and Retention performances ranged from 49 to 50.

CONCLUSION: These results support the use of the same standard cut-off scores established for hearing individuals in culturally Deaf individuals who use ASL.

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