Bender-Gestalt Test Correlates of Prognosis in Unipolar Depression (Brief Communication) (Clinical Report)

Bender-Gestalt Test Correlates of Prognosis in Unipolar Depression (Brief Communication) (Clinical Report)

INTRODUCTION The Bender-Gestalt test (B-G test) is the most widely administered graphic test of constructional apraxia (inability to copy the given figures). It was developed for assessing maturational level of children (1). Today, it is primarily employed as an important, valid and reliable psychological test for screening brain dysfunctions and in ruling out diagnostic confusion. For example, florid schizophrenia is manifested by disassociations, spatial separations and tendency of gestalt exaggeration, gross distortion, features of primitive scribbling, and immature looking drawing of pictures. Similarly, the features of paranoid schizophrenia on B-G test include exaggerated meticulousness, and variation in size or shape of original drawings (2). It has also been equally implicated in identifying the nature of some other psychological disorders, their prognosis and evaluating therapeutic recovery in all age groups. Recently, researches have studied the role of the B-G test in identifying visuomotor dysfunction as an indicator of dysfunctional cognitive abilities, as defective intellectual functioning in intellectual disabilities is not restricted to higher cognitive functions but also to more basic functions (3). Murayama et al found that children with intellectual disabilities had deficits in perceptual organisation which correlated with the severity of intellectual disabilities. In addition, higher correlations between the spatial subtests of the Developmental Test of Visual Perception and the Performance subtests of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children suggested that the spatial skills and cognitive performance may have a similar basis in information processing. Studies have examined the usefulness of the B-G test in differentiating dementia with Levy bodies (DLB) and Alzheimer’s disease and found that the DLB group showed significantly higher (that is worse) B-G Test scores than the other groups (4). Similarly, McCarthy et al (5) has used this test as a measure of visual memory. This test has also been used as a test of memory. To investigate the short-term visual memory ability of children and adolescents with severe psychiatric disorders, 82 child and adolescent inpatients and day hospital patients in a state psychiatric hospital were administered the Bender-Gestalt Test as part of a psychological assessment and then asked to reproduce the designs from memory. No significant differences were found between groups on either the Bender-Gestalt Recall, or the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC)-III IQs and the Digit Span and Symbol Search subtests for Psychotic Disorders (Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, and Psychosis Not Otherwise Specified), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Mood Disorders or Mood Disorders with co-morbid Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The Coding subtest scores of the Psychotic Disorders group were significantly lower than the ADHD group. Analyses showed that the Bender-Gestalt Recall was related to age, performance IQ and sex. Finally it was concluded in terms of both the poor cognitive functioning of children and adolescents with persistent, severe mental illness, and the importance of developmental level when using the B-G test as a rough measure of short-term visual memory. White (6) explored variations of Bender-Gestalt constriction and their relation to depression. He selected 20 subjects showing constriction of drawings on the upper half-page and 20 subjects showing constriction of drawings on the left half-page. The results were compared with regard to Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory’s (MMPI) Depression scores. Although, no significant difference was found between these groups, when the constricted groups were combined and then compared with 40 subjects who did not show constriction of Bender drawings, the constricted group had significantly higher (p .05) MMPI Depression scores. Thus, variations in Bender constriction are not

Bender-Gestalt Test Correlates of Prognosis in Unipolar Depression (Brief Communication) (Clinical Report)



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