Standardization of the face-hand test in a Brazilian multicultural population: Prevalence of sensory extinction and implications for neurological diagnosis
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OBJECTIVE: The face-hand test is a simple, practical, and rapid test to detect neurological syndromes. However, it has not previously been assessed in a Brazilian sample; therefore, the objective of the present study was to standardize the face-hand test for use in the multi-cultural population of Brazil and identify the sociodemographic factors affecting the results. METHODS: This was a cross sectional study of 150 individuals. The sociodemographic variables that were collected included age, gender, race, body mass index and years of education. Standardization of the face-hand test occurred in 2 rounds of 10 sensory stimuli, with the participant seated to support the trunk and their vision obstructed in a sound-controlled environment. The face-hand test was conducted by applying 2 rounds of 10 sensory stimuli that were applied to the face and hand simultaneously. The associations between the facehand test and sociodemographic variables were analyzed using Mann-Whitney tests and Spearman correlations. Binomial models were adjusted for the number of face-hand test variations, and ROC curves evaluated sensitivity and specificity of sensory extinction. RESULTS: There was no significant relationship between the sociodemographic variables and the number of stimuli perceived for the face-hand test. There was a high relative frequency of detection, 8 out of 10 stimuli, in this population. Sensory extinction was 25.3%, which increased with increasing age (OR=1.4[1: 01-1: 07]; p=0.006) and decreased significantly with increasing education (OR=0.82[0.71-0.94]; p=0.005). CONCLUSION: In the Brazilian population, a normal face-hand test score ranges between 8-10 stimuli, and the results indicate that sensory extinction is associated with increased age and lower levels of education.
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