Reliability and Test Environment of the SCAN-A with Children Ages 12-15

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The SCAN-A is a widely utilized auditory processing screening tool for use with adolescents and adults 12-to-50 years of age. The SCAN-A consists of four subtests: Filtered Words, Auditory Figure-Ground, Competing Words, and Competing Sentences, and takes about 20 minutes to administer. Other versions of this screening tool exist (e.g., SCAN and SCAN-C) that are standardized for use with children under 12 years of age. However, previous reports indicate that test-retest reliability is poor and test environment affects performance by young children. In this study, the effect of test environment (sound attenuating booth versus quiet room) and test-retest reliability for the 12-to-15 year old age group was investigated. Thirty participants, ages 12-to-15 years old, who were normally developing, were tested using the SCAN-A four times, twice in both a quiet room and a sound attenuating booth, with testing in both environments conducted one month apart. A high false-positive rate (43% of participants) was found for the first administration of the SCAN-A, with fewer participants identified with possible APD with subsequent test administrations. Results revealed a significant main effect of test administration time, and no significant main effect of test environment or significant interaction, for the Filtered Words, Auditory Figure-Ground, Competing Words, and Total Test standard score. No significant main effects or interaction was found for the Competing Sentences subtest. This investigation demonstrates that the SCAN-A has low specificity, a high false-positive rate, and poor test-retest reliability.