Conference Paper

Validation of a Novel Computerized Test Battery for Automated Testing

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... Another potential use for computerized testing is as a replacement for, or supplement to, neuropsychological assessments that are used for the diagnosis of various brain disorders. In one recent foray into this area, the relationship between a 30 min computerized testing battery and a standard 2-3 h neuropsychological assessment [41] was explored in 134 healthy adults (mean age was 47 years). Although the computerized testing battery could not account for significant variance in the assessments of verbal abilities (e.g., WASI Vocabulary subtest, Word List Generation), it did account for 61% of the variance in the remainder of the traditional neuropsychological battery. ...
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Over the past 35 years, the proliferation of technology and the advent of the internet have resulted in many reliable and easy to administer batteries for assessing cognitive function. These approaches have great potential for affecting how the health care system monitors and screens for cognitive changes in the aging population. Here, we review these new technologies with a specific emphasis on what they offer over and above traditional ‘paper-and-pencil’ approaches to assessing cognitive function. Key advantages include fully automated administration and scoring, the interpretation of individual scores within the context of thousands of normative data points, the inclusion of ‘meaningful change’ and ‘validity’ indices based on these large norms, more efficient testing, increased sensitivity, and the possibility of characterising cognition in samples drawn from the general population that may contain hundreds of thousands of test scores. The relationship between these new computerized platforms and existing (and commonly used) paper-and-pencil tests is explored, with a particular emphasis on why computerized tests are particularly advantageous for assessing the cognitive changes associated with aging.
... In future studies, we plan to test tablets as an alternative to computer-mouse combination based on patient preference. Finally, in the absence of a "gold standard" test for cognitive impairment in this study, the psychometric characteristics of the CBS could not be assessed, although previous studies in healthy controls [15], and elderly neuropsychiatric patients [40], have confirmed that it is comparable to standard neuropsychological test batteries in terms of its latent structure and relation to age. ...
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Purpose To assess the feasibility of using a widely validated, web-based neurocognitive test battery (Cambridge Brain Sciences, CBS) in a cohort of critical illness survivors. Methods We conducted a prospective observational study in two intensive care units (ICUs) at two tertiary care hospitals. Twenty non-delirious ICU patients who were mechanically ventilated for a minimum of 24 hours underwent cognitive testing using the CBS battery. The CBS consists of 12 cognitive tests that assess a broad range of cognitive abilities that can be categorized into three cognitive domains: reasoning skills, short-term memory, and verbal processing. Patients underwent cognitive assessment while still in the ICU (n = 13) or shortly after discharge to ward (n = 7). Cognitive impairment on each test was defined as a raw score that was 1.5 or more standard deviations below age- and sex-matched norms from healthy controls. Results We found that all patients were impaired on at least two tests and 18 patients were impaired on at least three tests. ICU patients had poorer performance on all three cognitive domains relative to healthy controls. We identified testing related fatigue due to battery length as a feasibility issue of the CBS test battery. Conclusions Use of a web-based patient-administered cognitive test battery is feasible and can be used in large-scale studies to identify domain-specific cognitive impairment in critical illness survivors and the temporal course of recovery over time.
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