Extending the SPANS: neuropsychological test to be normed on older adults

Short Parallel Assessments of Neuropsychological Status (SPANS) author Dr Gerald Burgess recently published an article for the British Psychological Society's Faculty of the Psychology of Older People (FPOP) newsletter discussing the plans to extend the upper range of the test's normas from age 74 to 89. This extension would be a useful development for older adult services and memory clinics around the UK, providing advantages over current options for the assessment of older adults and dementia. From the article:

'The author's and Hogrefe's plan for further development of the SPANS includes a two-pronged approach. Research ethics proposals will be submitted in Summer 2015

that would allow qualified clinical psychologists to administer the SPANS in their NHS older adult services and/or memory clinics, as a matter of clinical routine, whether alongside existing assessments or not, by clinician choice. Statistically projected

norming data for the SPANS will be supplied to our research collaborators, based on a small number of participants already gathered who are over the age of 74 and bootstrapped regression analysis, so that the obtained scores may provide some clinical utility for participating clinicians.

'The second aspect of the development will be to collect data from healthy control norms. We hope to recruit honorary assistant psychologists around the UK to seek out and recruit older adult participants in the community (e.g. Senior Centres) willing to be tested with the SPANS. Training and supervision will be provided by the author, Dr Gerald (Jerry) Burgess, and would be useful experience to those hoping to pursue a career in clinical psychology. We would be grateful for expressions of interest, and/or enquiries for further information from qualified clinical psychologists and assistant psychologists. Please contact Dr Burgess at gb222@le.ac.uk with such expressions of interest or enquiries. At such time when sufficient clinical and normative data are collected, Hogrefe will publish a supplementary test manual specifically for the SPANS use with older people. Details will be found at: http://www.hogrefe.co.uk/spans.html.'

Reprinted with permission from the British Psychological Society. The newsletter in its entirety is available from the BPS online shop.

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