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A diagnostic test of unawareness of bilateral motor task abilities in anosognosia for hemiplegia.
NIMMO-SMITH, I., MARCEL, A.J. & Tegner, R.
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 76, 1167-1169
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Background: Anosognosia for hemiplegia (AHP) is conventionally defined/diagnosed by generic questions about awareness of limb plegia. However, unawareness of inability to perform tasks requiring bilateral use of limbs is more widespread and outlasts the former kind of unawareness. Some patients consistently overestimate bilateral task ability. Aim: To assess how well specific questions about bilateral task ability predict whether patients consistently overestimate their abilities. Method: Six statistical indices were calculated to rank the questions for predictiveness of consistency of overestimation of bilateral task ability. Results and Conclusions: Overall, bimanual questions are better predictors than bipedal questions of consistent overestimation. Three bimanual and two bipedal questions had both sensitivity and specificity above 80%. On the basis of accuracy and discriminability, one bimanual and one bipedal question that performed maximally could be used for a quick bedside heuristic index. For a more thorough diagnostic, especially for research, 5 bimanual and 2 bipedal questions were good predictors, and should be used. For both purposes, such tests should be given in combination with conventional generic questions assessing awareness of limb plegia, since the two kinds of question reflect different kinds of unawareness of motor incapacity.