Selection and application of familiar and novel tools in patients with left and right hemispheric stroke: Psychometrics and normative data
Mechanical problem solving Psychometric properties DILA-S a b s t r a c t Frequently left brain damage (LBD) leads to limb apraxia, a disorder that can affect tooluse. Despite its impact on daily life, classical tests examining the pantomime of tool-use and imitation of gestures are seldom applied in clinical practice. The study's aim was to present a diagnostic approach which appears more strongly related to actions in daily life in order to sensitize applicants and patients about the
... of the disorder before patients are discharged. Two tests were introduced that evaluate actual tool selection and tool-objectapplication: the Novel Tools (NTT) and the Familiar Tools (FTT) Test (parts of the DILA-S: Diagnostic Instrument for Limb Apraxia e Short Version). Normative data in healthy subjects (N ¼ 82) was collected. Then the tests were applied in stroke patients with unilateral left brain damage (LBD: N ¼ 33), a control right brain damage group (RBD: N ¼ 20) as well as healthy age and gender matched controls (CL: N ¼ 28, and CR, N ¼ 18). The tests showed appropriate interrater-reliability and internal consistency as well as concurrent and divergent validity. To examine criterion validity based on the well-known left lateralization of limb apraxia, group comparisons were run. As expected, the LBD group demonstrated a high prevalence of tool-use apraxia (NTT: 36.4%, FTT: 48.5%) ranging from mild to severe impairment and scored worse than their control group (CL). A few RBD patients did demonstrate impairments in tool-use (NTT: 15%, FTT: 15%). On a group level they did not differ from their healthy controls (CR). Further, it was demonstrated that the selection and application of familiar and novel tools can be impaired selectively. Our study results suggest that real tool-use tests evaluating tool selection and tool application should be considered for standard diagnosis of limb apraxia in left as well as right brain damaged patients.