Professor Barbara Wilson, OBE on the new Spot the Word, Second Edition

It’s always an exciting moment when a new product review comes through and even more so when it’s written by the eminent author Professor Barbara A Wilson, OBE.

Read what Professor Wilson said about Spot the Word, Second Edition (STW 2).

“Assessment of pre-morbid ability is an important part of a neuropsychological assessment and there are several tests of reading available to us to estimate this.

All, however, require the participant to read aloud. Many patients are unable to read aloud as they may have dysphasia, dysarthria, a strong accent, they may be embarrassed to read aloud, they may be deaf and have an unusual speech pattern or they may speak so quietly, it is difficult to hear them.

This is where Spot the Word is so useful. Participants are shown pairs of words and have to indicate which of each pair is the real word (one word in each pair is a made-up, nonsense word).

Professor Barbara Wilson OBE

As a fan of the original Spot the Word (Baddeley, Emslie and Nimmo-Smith 1992), I welcome this second edition by Baddeley and Crawford (2012). The pairs of words are different to those found in the original version, there are more of them: 100 compared to the previous 60, this version is better normed than the previous one and the pack contains an improved, computerised means of predicting premorbid IQ.

Like the Test of Premorbid Functioning (Wechsler 2011), the computerised scorer enables the tester to derive the predicted pre-morbid IQ from a simple raw score or from the raw score plus demographic variables.

The test can be administered to a wide variety of patients including those with severe physical problems provided a reliable Yes/No response can be established.

I would have welcomed a parallel version (as there is in the earlier test) for, although there is probably little in the way of practice effects, some people might be motivated enough to check up on the words they did not know.

Nevertheless, this will prove a very useful assessment tool for most neuropsychologists. It is easy to administer, to score and weighs almost nothing, something those of us who carry out home visits or do bedside testing, welcome.”

Professor Barbara A Wilson OBE, Ph.D, D.Sc., CPsychol, FBPsS, FmedSC, AcS

Many thanks to Barbara Wilson for taking the time to send us this review. You can find out more about Barbara Wilson, in our Meet the Author Interview.

Plus, remember for each review submitted we donate £5 to a charity chosen by a member of staff every few months. This month our charity is Hope House Children’s Hospices, chosen by our Sales Manager, Nicola Owens.

Spot the Word, Second Edition (STW 2) is one of our more recent publications designed to rapidly assess premorbid cognitive abilities. To set the project in context, we also have this highlight from our Publishing Director Abigail Batty, who told us about the development process:

“In the UK, we have been interested in the rising use of the Spot the Word test, from the Speed of Capacity of Language Processing Test (SCOLP), as a test of premorbid function. When it came to running the validation studies for the WAIS-IV in theUK, we spoke with Professors Alan Baddeley and John Crawford about the option of including the Spot the Word test in the data collection studies. In this way we hoped to get data to help us build estimated premorbid ability equations compared to the WAIS-IV(UK). Professors Baddeley and Crawford were happy to include the tool in our study, and building on recent research with the STW, developed a revised version (which we have creatively called STW-2!).

We collected STW-2 and WAIS-IV(UK) data on 247 people in the UK. The data showed that the test is a reliable and valid assessment and provides scores for estimated premorbid ability that are comparable to the Test of Premorbid Function – UK Edition (TOPF(UK)). The test complements the TOPF(UK) by providing a tool that does not require reading aloud and therefore can be used for people with expressive language difficulties.”

Find out more about STW 2