Overview of ADHD testing
Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a clinical diagnosis that is diagnosed accurately by a psychiatrist through an interview. However there are several objective based tests that complement the clinical interview and aid in establishing a diagnosis. These tests include CPT3 Conners Test, TOVA-9, Creyos Cognitive Testing, and the QbTest.
ADHD testing in children
Furthermore, subjective-based questionnaires which can aid clinicians in making a diagnosis of ADHD are available. Certainly, these include the Vanderbilt questionnaire for children, which is administered to parents and teachers for children. Meanwhile, for adults, another commonly administered questionnaire is the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS).
ADHD testing in adults
However, the diagnosis of ADHD in adults is more complex as ADHD is conceptualized as a childhood condition. However, it is possible that due to cultural factors or lack of awareness, the diagnosis can be missed in children who persist with ADHD symptoms into their adulthood
The Test of Variables of Attention T.O.V.A
The T.O.V.A. is a medical device that aids in the assessment of, and evaluation of treatment for, attention deficits, including ADHD.
The T.O.V.A. is used by healthcare professionals to measure key variables of attention and inhibitory control that are the building blocks for our ability to focus, think effectively, and develop healthy relationships.
The T.O.V.A. stands as a pinnacle in the realm of attention measures and is globally recognized as the "Gold Standard". It is the foremost objective tool employed to gauge attention, with the distinction of being FDA-cleared. Specifically tailored to assess key facets of attention and inhibitory control, the T.O.V.A. functions as an invaluable neuropsychological tool to both measure attention and screen for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Designed as a seemingly straightforward, albeit monotonous, computer game, the T.O.V.A. test typically spans a duration of 21.6 minutes. Its core purpose is to meticulously analyze the participant's reactions to either visual or auditory prompts.
The visual aspect of the T.O.V.A. serves a dual purpose: to assist in diagnosing attention deficits and to evaluate the efficacy of ADHD treatments. With the advantage of being uninfluenced by cultural or linguistic biases, this computer-administered test boasts unparalleled accuracy in capturing responses to stimuli, thanks to a state-of-the-art microswitch accurate to ±1 ms.
Among the metrics evaluated by the T.O.V.A. are response time variability (determining consistency), actual response time (ascertaining speed), commissions (measuring impulsivity), and omissions (assessing focus and attentiveness). Post-assessment, these recorded metrics undergo a comparison against an extensive, normative sample matched for age and gender. Additionally, comparisons are made with a cohort of individuals diagnosed with ADHD. The culmination of this analysis is an instantly accessible, comprehensible report.
A significant challenge faced in the digital testing domain is the inherent inconsistency in computer performance - an inconsistency analogous to a common ADHD trait. Addressing this, the TOVA Company has ingeniously crafted both hardware and software to rectify this inconsistency, ensuring that your assessment is executed with millisecond precision.
Key Features of T.O.V.A Test
Unlike some other tests that rely heavily on subjective observations, TOVA provides quantifiable data.
It offers direct measures of both omission (inattention) and commission (impulsivity) errors.
TOVA is suited for children, adolescents, and adults, adjusting to appropriate age-related norms.
The test is computerized, ensuring precise timing and immediate data analysis
HOW THE T.O.V.A. WORKS
The concept is straightforward: in the visual test, images flash on the screen, while the auditory test emits beeps through speakers. The person undergoing the test reacts as promptly and correctly as possible using a compact handheld button.
Both the sound-based and sight-based tests have a duration of 21.6 minutes. However, for younger participants aged between 4 and 5.5, a shorter 10.8-minute visual T.O.V.A. test is utilized.
For the visual test, two distinct images appear alternately on the screen. Participants press the button when the designated square shows. In contrast, the auditory test comprises two sound pitches, with participants pressing the button following the higher-pitched sound.
Subsequent to the test, the T.O.V.A. aligns the participant's reactions with established standards. This provides a perspective on where the individual's responses are situated within the standard deviation.
Furthermore, the T.O.V.A. also juxtaposes the participant's answers against responses from a group of ADHD-diagnosed individuals. Remember, such juxtapositions are not equivalent to diagnoses. No singular test has the capacity to definitively diagnose ADHD. This responsibility rests solely with medical professionals, and the T.O.V.A. findings should only be analyzed by those with the proper qualifications.