View Full Version : Are there any tests that measure attention?


JH376
11-12-03, 11:07 PM
I've seen all kinds of tests that ask questions about habits and history that are supposed to help a person or his/her doctor determine whether one has ADD/ADHD or not. I've heard reports about drug therapies or other treatments that are supposed to improve the symptoms of ADD. The test results say things like "show a marked improvement in...", or "perform better at ...", but these all seem subjective to me.

Many of us have seen benefits being on one drug or another, and we know that our attention span is better at times, but is there a way to measure attention span, or short-term memory in a quantitative way so we know how effective a treatment is? If there was an equivalent to a blood test that a person could take, we could tailor our medications, both in dosage and type, to fine-tune their effects. At present, it seems like the best we can do is come up with a kind of a fuzzy description of how we feel on a drug rather than off it.

It would be great to have a piece of software or something else that can test our memory and/or attention span to determine the effectiveness of a treatment. If something like this existed, we as a group could all benefit by not having to wade though a lot of trial and error.

If someone knows of such testing techniques, I'd love to hear about them. Otherwise, this has been more of a commentary than anything else. Thank you for your time.

waywardclam
11-13-03, 10:15 PM
Dr. Amen describes a test which was fairly effective, I forget the details, but it involved doing mind-numbingly dull judgement tasks for something like ten minutes at a time... participants were asked to identify sounds or pictures flashed at them quickly. People with forms of ADHD started with high scores but the longer they did it the more trouble they had maintaining focus on the boring task, and the more they started to make mistakes and get emotionally upset...

JH376
11-14-03, 11:26 PM
Hi Waywardclam,

I went to the Amen Clinic website to look for the test you mentioned, but it wasn't there. I did take the online ADD test, and, what do you know, but I have a high probability of Attention Defecit Disorder! (Inattentive and libic system hyperactivity).

If anyone comes across the test mentioned in the above posting, please, please send details. Thanks.

waywardclam
11-15-03, 04:52 AM
I don't think the above test is available online, he describes it in his book as being something he tried in a clinical environment.

mctavish23
11-15-03, 08:48 PM
AM not an Amen disciple, so I cant comment on his recommendations or tests. I can tell you that computerized Continous Performance Tests (CPT's) do not work diagnostically.
We just got a relatively new neuropysch test called the Wide Range Test of Memeory and Learning. I'm learning it this weekend. It looks sound statistically and does measure memory. The same people put out the Wide Range Achievement Test, which has been a staple for achievemant testing for years.

Traditionally, IQ testing has been used for long and short term memory assessment, however, long term research isnt supporting its use of subscales for ADHD .

mctavish23
11-15-03, 08:49 PM
ps....... online testing is not looked upon as valid for diagnosis.:)

healthwiz
11-16-03, 12:16 AM
Testing testing 1 2 3 testing testing 123 ....is anybody there?

Thats the best test I've seen!

spasepeepole
12-29-03, 11:00 PM
I don't need that test, even if it does exist. I have a very short...
wait, where did I put my chapsticK?

healthwiz
12-30-03, 03:10 AM
I have seen quite a bit of testing on the internet, by searching under ADHD Software. That turned up many tests. I don't know how valid any of them are, but there is a lead to follow.

Jonathan

Gregster
01-02-04, 06:39 PM
There is a test called TOVA - Test of Variables of Attention - that some places use as part of an ADD/ADHD assessment. It's computer based and is long & very boring - designed to drive ADDer's crazy! It measures the time it takes to respond to visual or auditory changes.

Ian
01-02-04, 06:59 PM
I've done:

WAIS-3
TOVA
WSM-3
WJ-3
PAI
CAARS-S:L

I have little memory about which was which but I certainly remember the TOVA!

The funny thing was that through all the hours of testing the TOVA test was the one I thought I aced. Turns out it was one of the ones where my ADHD shone rather brightly.

Has anyone done any testing before meds and after? I'm sorely tempted to go through the whole mess again medicated to see the changes.

Cheers! Ian.

Byron T
01-03-04, 12:02 AM
Hi itschaotic,

I'm new to this forum, but not to ADD. I have been working with people w/ADD for over 10 years. At my clinic, we have used the Test Of Variables Of Attention (TOVA) w/over 200 hundred clients. We do a pre and post medication test to monitor attentional improvements. It also helps us to titrate the medication to find the proper dose for each client. We believe the lowest possible dose is best. We do not medicate for behavioral change alone. This can create a zombie effect. We medicate for a cognitive/behavioral change, then do coaching to teach a new way of dealing with life on lifes terms. We believe this is the most productive method of treatment. We also, like Doc Amens Brain Spects, but do not have the ability at this time to provide them for our clients.

Julie
02-26-04, 10:30 PM
This is one test go to WWW.Amenclinic.com/ac/adtests
I hope this link works it did for me. Thanks, hope this helps
Julie

waywardclam
02-26-04, 11:47 PM
Welcome to both of you Byron T and Julie!

Garry
02-27-04, 12:28 AM
Welcome to both of you Byron T and Julie!____________________________________________

As I am very lazy when it comes to typing so I have created a welcome page and ADDed a link here to get you there

My Welcome Page (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3345)

Garry

________________________________________________

Patricia
04-16-05, 12:25 AM
I have ADHD I recently took a test that has been around for a long time that tests your natural abilities and not your skills. It's not a test for ADHD but I thought it would be a help. It's for people wanting to change careers,etc. or just want to know what their strengths and weaknesses are. The test takes about 3 hrs. you use a CD? on the computer and it is timed and the things that you are naturally good at(by the age of 14 you have all these abilities). It is not a test of your skills. There are some things that you really have to think about and it's timed and then it goes to the next set and you get really frustrated but then there are things that are just easy for you but may be very hard for someone else. Everybody is made differently and there are no right or wrong answers. The result is evaluated (I took mine from the "old" school where you had to be a psychologist(sp?) and spend a couple of months or something to interpret the results but now I think you can just download it and someone that just had a couple of weeks (just a guess) of training and doesn't have to be a psychologist to interpret the test. I also had a test to see what interests me the most. Any way it was surprising! I had to be in charge of a job and have never thought about being a manager and was surprised that I liked it.(this was before I took the test.) It was something that had a beginning and a deadline that took a few days and it had to be done. Then I took the test and I found out that I would be good at it . The test comfirmed what I liked and I was very surprised to see things that I'm naturaly good at and my weaknesses. Everybody is good at something and also have a lot of weaknesses like I did and every body else. Even the weaknesses can be used for good and they explan why. I'm 55 years old and wished I had taken it when I was younger. I think it would have helped me to know what I would naturally be good at or have weaknesses. I believe that it would help people that have ADD.

say whaaaat?
04-16-05, 01:35 AM
is that kinda the same thing as when you take an iq test and it says what parts of it you did best on? ex: pattern recognition, logic, short term memory, arthimetic, i forgot what else was on it. do all add people do well on the same parts of the test, maybe that could tell you if you had add or not?

Patricia
04-20-05, 01:13 AM
The test is to see what your natural abilaties(sp?) are and I scored low on alot or most of the test but the outcome said I would be a good manager because I don't have to see all the details and things like that so maybe alot of ADDers would possibly score close to the same? I don't know. Good question.

Rodger
05-08-05, 01:09 PM
We have developed a free online test that measures many attention factors. It is a test of your rhythmicity (your ability to maintain a steady beat).

Our experience is that when someone has poor rhythmicity, they tend to have ADHD symptoms. If they have good rhythmicity, they tend not to have ADHD symptoms.

When we teach rhythmicity to someone with poor rhythmicity (5 weeks), their symptoms fade over time (3 to 6 months).

You are all welcome to take the test. If you put in your email address, I send you a graphic report of your timing and rhythmicity.

scuro
05-08-05, 10:55 PM
I'm not a 100% certain about this but I believe I have heard that no one test has been able measure your ability to pay attention in the classroom. The thing is, as soon as you sit down with someone to do such a test you are not in a real life situation. In class no one is watching you yet on any sort of assessment you are the center of focus so you respond differently and subjects sometimes focus much better then in real life. The computer based models are faulty also. Many ADHD people are attracted to the visual hands on quality of a computer and it does not measure real life performance.

Come on...think about it...as a child most teacher's voices sounded like that Charlie Brown teacher voice, "W-wha w-wha-wha wha". I perked up the moment that someone gave me assistance and in fact we know one of the best ways to help adhd kids in school is to put them in one on one learning situations.

Rodger
05-09-05, 01:58 AM
Scuro:

Of course, we are not saying that we have an ADHD test. We have a test that measures rhythmicity. Our experience is that rhythmicity is strongly correlated to ADHD. And, the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation published research in 1999 showing that rhythmicity is correlated to academic performance.

Our test is only one minute in duration. You will understand the test much better if you take the test.

Our test is a generic way to discover how someone responds to a steady beat. The test subjects have to:

a) hear the 60 BPM beat,
b) recognize that the beat is something that they need to follow,
c) anticipate the timing for the next beat,
d) tap the spacebar on the beat,
e) maintain staying on the beat for 60 seconds.

These are micro versions of common patterns we find in those with ADHD.

For instance, "a" and "b" are about understanding context and knowing that you need to adapt your behavior to match the requirements of the context. Extreme versions of hyperactivity and inattention cannot do this.

"c" and "d" are impossible if you have dyspraxia.

"e" cannot be done if have most of the ADHD patterns.

In one minute we get very important information about the attention capabilities of most test subjects.

=======================

We understand context. We understand that often school (and family) context provides stimuli which affects a person's attention. We don't think context is a 'problem' for this test's results. We are measuring how certain circuits in the brain function. If a person is easily distracted, they will have a low score. Okay.

If a person is not easily distracted, but their coordination is poor, they will have a poor score. Okay.

If a person cannot understand the beat, they will have a poor score. Okay.

If a person is not easily distracted, has good coordination, understands the beat, and can hold focus for at least a minute, they will have a good score. Okay.

In our test, most people will take this test at home. Maybe there is some context pressure on the test subject. But, for many ADHD children the computer is a place (context) where they can maintain attention pretty well.

I would suggest that taking our free test and looking at your full graphic report is the best way to understand what we are testing.

Wheezie
05-09-05, 09:32 AM
we like to encourage discussion of these types of topics at ADDF. so, if you go check out the test (like i did), please come back to discuss any further questions or concerns. i'm curious about several things!!!!

realiability ... if you take the test multiple times, how likely is it that your results will remain the same??? -- i've don't the test 3 times and gotten three varying scores ... each time i tried my best to stay on task.

research ... how has it been verified that the score cut-offs reflect what you say they reflect rather than poor test=poor rythymicity? where is the research available for us to read?

what formula do you use to reach your rhythymicity index # ? -- i missed 0 beats, yet, my score was "marginal". what's the definition of a missed beat?

i'm sure there are more questions ...

Rodger
05-09-05, 03:38 PM
Thanks for trying out the test.

======
realiability ... if you take the test multiple times, how likely is it that your results will remain the same??? -- i've don't the test 3 times and gotten three varying scores ... each time i tried my best to stay on task.
======

The nature of not being able hold a steady beat, is that you cannot be stable in an exercise that measures your ability to hold a steady beat. So, when your RI (Rhythmicity Index) is less than 85, you can expect variation in the score. As a person improves rhythmicity, the RI becomes more and more stable.

Some athletes using the test you took, score near 100 every time they take the test.

Those who are learning rhythmicity, steadily improve their RI scores over the course of the training program.

======
research ... how has it been verified that the score cut-offs reflect what you say they reflect rather than poor test=poor rythymicity? where is the research available for us to read?
======

As of yet, there is no research, but there are a lot of cases. On the other hand, the definition of what we are measuring is how much variation in time is there from tap to tap for the 60 responses you provided. Also, I have been doing this for 4 years. I have worked with over 300 children and adults, so I have a lot of experience of what these number mean.

I would love to have people perform research on the facilities we have. I would rather 3rd parties performed and published the research. If anyone is interested, please contact me.

The purpose of the RI is not to establish a number that is etched in stone. Just like blood sugar & blood pressure, this number will change from test to test.

======
what formula do you use to reach your rhythymicity index # ? -- i missed 0 beats, yet, my score was "marginal". what's the definition of a missed beat?
======

We calculate the milliseconds difference between taps and normalize the results for 100 to be perfectly rhythmic, and for zero to be random (patent applied for).

Missing beats is not related to your RI. But the time difference is really big if our test subject misses the spacebar on one of the taps. So, we note the missing taps and take out those time gaps that are too big.

You get much more information about your results by looking through our graphic report.

QueensU_girl
05-21-05, 03:12 PM
WCST (Wisconsin Card Sort Test)
TOVA
Any CPTs.

Executive Function is tested with the Tower of Hanoi game.

dbr2
09-16-05, 09:07 AM
I've read that TOVA can yield false negatives--i.e., miss some people who are ADD.

There is a psychologist close to where I live who does evaluations for ADD, and I read one of her brochures.

I asked my psychiatrist what he thought about my being evaluated by her. He said he did not recommend it because her fee is ridiculusly high, and since he has already diagnosed me with ADD,he's willing to put it in writing.

He also said there's probably nothing to be found by such tests that would change the medicaton therapy he is treating me with.

I have also heard that ANY test is subject to dispute.

So I gather it comes down to $$$ and success of treatment--at least sometimes.

Am I right?

DBR

psybrdelic
10-16-05, 09:53 PM
I have a quick reference. Check out the DSM-IV. That is the basic skeleton for diagnosis of mental disorders.

jasonmark
04-27-06, 08:15 AM
<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>

<o:p> </o:p>

I would like to bring to your attention a new concept in ADD testing. An objective physiological measure of ADHD has been elusive. However, research by Jason Alster MSc has shown that when an ADD person tries to sit still , do a boring task, or concentrate- they actually enter stress as measured by electro dermal activity. This marker is positive in the majority of ADD clients tested. Then GSR biofeedback may be used to improve the stress result. A protocol using this valid objective physiological marker has just been published in a video- Guide for GSR Biofeedback Techniques For The Natural ADHD Practitioner. <o:p></o:p>

<o:p></o:p>

<o:p> </o:p>

<o:p> </o:p>

dormammau2008
04-27-06, 05:01 PM
thanks jonson very intresting topic i find it intreting,,,,,,i lookinto that more thankssss dorm ;.)))

QueensU_girl
04-27-06, 08:48 PM
They use GSR (galvanic skin response) as part of Lie Detector tests. Hmmm. eg how much is someone sweating.

It must be new research b/c I've never heard of it.

The last news I read about Psycho-Physiological type testing methods [with good results] was QEEG Testing. (Hallowell mentions this in his new book, Delivered from Distraction.)

Important to Remember:
ADHD is not just Attention, and/or Hyperactivity. Some of us have amazing Attention (for the right material) and are Hypoactive.

-ADHD is also "Working Memory" ability impairment (for IQ). It's like a short-term memory disability. (Explains why i have to interrupt people -- so i don't lose my IDEAS!!)

-"Executive Function" is another thing affected by ADHD. This is Planning, Organizing, Shifting Tasks, Considering consequences and Probabilities of outcomes, etc. (Typing the words "Executive Function" brings up some good definitions in Search Engines.)

dormammau2008
04-28-06, 03:28 PM
thank you queensu short-term mearoyyyyyy how do you mean by that what kind things dose the add cos a porblem with if ou can expaline it bettter plaseees an yeh you dont allways have porblems with lack attion dorm thanks for responeing back xx

nature
08-14-06, 09:28 PM
Hi itschaotic,

I'm new to this forum, but not to ADD. I have been working with people w/ADD for over 10 years. At my clinic, we have used the Test Of Variables Of Attention (TOVA) w/over 200 hundred clients. We do a pre and post medication test to monitor attentional improvements. It also helps us to titrate the medication to find the proper dose for each client. We believe the lowest possible dose is best. We do not medicate for behavioral change alone. This can create a zombie effect. We medicate for a cognitive/behavioral change, then do coaching to teach a new way of dealing with life on lifes terms. We believe this is the most productive method of treatment. We also, like Doc Amens Brain Spects, but do not have the ability at this time to provide them for our clients.SOOOO HAPPPYY TO FIND THIS THREAD

OMG

I just hope I can somehow access some of these tests. It has been really challenging to be sure which of the drugs works best and my doc is looking to try new ones and I am nervous because I have bipolar issues lurking in the background and really would prefer to have SOME kind of objective tool with which to measure the cognitive benefits of these drugs. Thank you, thank you. My doc seems really to be all about writing prescriptions and for me this is not good enough -- yet I called the major mental health referral service in Toronto hoping to find another doc and they have only TWO docs in the whole city who deal with Adult ADHD (mine being one of them). ARRGH

Now I gotta go find out more about these tests ... thanks again.

nature
08-14-06, 09:45 PM
We have developed a free online test that measures many attention factors. It is a test of your rhythmicity (your ability to maintain a steady beat).

Our experience is that when someone has poor rhythmicity, they tend to have ADHD symptoms. If they have good rhythmicity, they tend not to have ADHD symptoms.

When we teach rhythmicity to someone with poor rhythmicity (5 weeks), their symptoms fade over time (3 to 6 months).

You are all welcome to take the test. If you put in your email address, I send you a graphic report of your timing and rhythmicity.Hi Rodger ... been trying to find this test on line ... can you perhaps share by email if doing so here is not appropriate.

thanks,

Nature

Master Rat
08-15-06, 12:56 AM
I am really apprehensive about being overly tested. I think Docs can try to read too much into our condition and sometimes they loose sight of whats really important to the patient. I think being over medicated is plain crazy, however these are some of the things I almost find more important than attention.

1. Mood stability, i love not having to worry about snapping at stupid small things.
2. Meds help me interract with people and i enjoy their company, before most people bored me. i can even read body language and facial expressions now.
3. i love quick thinking.
4. i love being able to read and not fall a sleep.
5. I love not feeling fatiqued all the time.
6. I like having a plan.
7. I love what it has done for my marraige.
8. i do not feel socially inferior anymore.
9. i can play games that bored me out of my mind before and get double the scores of people that use to beat me.
10. I have a real sense of hope about my future and I think I figured out how to retire in 10 years.

So take your test and """""""""""""". I think I know what works best for me.

I have a real smart doctor that listens to me and I am thankful for him, he is absolutely the best.

My younger son has a real smart doctor that listens to no one, including himself. He tests, tests, tests and then writes conflicting reports. If he does not get my son the script I think he needs next session. I am going to fire him and get the dumbest doctor i can find.

Sometimes I think the best test is to see:
How the patient fits into society.
Is the patient happy with his life.
Does the patient feel his level of acheivement is what he is capable of.
Does the patient have meaningful goals.

The four things above mean more to me than any paper test a phd can produce.

Best Wishes,

Tom

nature
08-15-06, 09:51 AM
I guess we are each in a different situation and put value on different things.

Even when it comes to quality of life I like to have some kind of objective comparison and where my bipolar mood swings were concerned developed scales for myself a long time ago. My interest in testing stems from the fact that the difference made by the ADHD meds has not been night and day as it sounds like it is for some people.

So there is the question of whether or not to change, how much to change, etc. When you have a doc who is willing to try almost anything (he was talking about the possibility of trying an alzheimers drug the other day) you want to be able to keep track of your progress. My interest is specifically in tests that measure cognitive function and memory as these are the most difficult things to self assess, at least for me.

dormammau2008
08-15-06, 11:00 AM
tests alone only give part stroy .....as the person 2 up said tom???? or something??? but at same time we need some tests to give a level ofve were or cognitive ................>>an possable drugs that may help we all have deiffents ways ofve looking at it but all went the same thing in the end just a diff apruch in geting it i wish you both the best an anyone eles who may take the tests or anything eles for that matter dorm

ninchen
11-12-06, 08:46 PM
I did take a test for attention when I was diagnosed. I had to watch a computer screen with a bunch of items flashing on it. I had to click a button when a target item came up on the screen. Unfortunately I can't remember the name, but I will see if I can dig it up...

dormammau2008
11-12-06, 09:47 PM
thank you nichen be great i lookforwades to seing it dorm