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Research Article  |   September 2008
Search Performance of Healthy Adults on Cancellation Tests
Author Affiliations
  • Mary Warren, OTR/L, SCLV, FAOTA, is Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1530 3rd Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35294-1212; warrenm@uab.edu
  • Jennifer M. Moore, MS, OTR/L, is Occupational Therapist, Medical West: An Affiliate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Health System, Bessemer, Alabama
  • Laura K. Vogtle, PhD, OTR/L, is Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama
Article Information
Geriatrics/Productive Aging / Neurologic Conditions / Traumatic Brain Injury / Rehabilitation, Disability, and Participation
Research Article   |   September 2008
Search Performance of Healthy Adults on Cancellation Tests
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September/October 2008, Vol. 62, 588-594. doi:10.5014/ajot.62.5.588
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September/October 2008, Vol. 62, 588-594. doi:10.5014/ajot.62.5.588
Abstract

Cancellation tests are used extensively to identify visual search deficiencies in people with neurologic conditions, but little is known about how healthy adults perform on these tests. This study described the performance and types of search strategies used by healthy adults to complete cancellation tests from the Brain Injury Visual Assessment Battery for Adults. Study participants predominantly used structured left-to-right and top-to-bottom linear search patterns regardless of the configuration of the visual array. Other search qualities included (1) use of the same pattern throughout the search of an array, (2) symmetrical search of the array, and (3) rechecking performance on complex arrays. Older adult participants took more time to complete the tests than younger adults did. Knowing the strategies healthy adults use on cancellation tests enables therapists to identify visual search deficiencies in clients and design interventions to reestablish normal search strategies in daily occupations.