Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA)
The Test Of Variables of Attention (TOVA) was developed by Dr Lawrence Greenberg, Professor Emeritus and former Head of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Minnesota, a clinician, a leader and authority in the research of Attention Deficit Disorders for over 25 years.
The TOVA is a 23 minute computerised assessment (visual or auditory) which in conjunction with teacher and parent behaviour rating scales, is a highly effective screening tool for ADD and ADHD. It is non language based (to differentiate ADD & ADHD from learning disorders), requires no left-right discrimination, and has negligible practice effects.
Until now, it has been difficult to achieve adequate screening for ADHD and ADD, because traditional screening procedures are subjective, time consuming and expensive. Hence, diagnosis has not been easy, particularly with the current subjective and non-specific criteria of the DSM-IV.
However, Continuous Performance Tests (CPT’s) are increasingly being used by clinicians as an adjunct to help diagnose and monitor the effectiveness of intervention strategies for attentional problems. These tests measure, with greater reliability, certain behaviours and psychophysiologic responses that correlate with the diagnosis of attention deficit disorders and /or correspond to the construct of an attention deficit.
Research also indicates that people with ADHD display difficulties most dramatically in situations requiring sustained attention to dull, boring and repetitive tasks. The TOVA provides such a task, measures responses and compares them to age norms.