Assessing for cognitive impairment in people with an acquired brain injury : validation of a brief neuropsychological assessment battery

Attwood, Jennifer (2013) Assessing for cognitive impairment in people with an acquired brain injury : validation of a brief neuropsychological assessment battery. D.Clin.Psych. thesis, Canterbury Christ Church University.

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Abstract

Cognitive complaints are common following an acquired brain injury and require careful assessment in order to guide treatment and care. There is a need for brief, comprehensive and psychometrically valid tests of cognitive function that can be used in neuro-rehabilitation services by a range of health professionals. The Short Parallel Assessments of Neuropsychological Status (SPANS) was purpose-designed to meet this need. The current study assessed the reliability, discriminative validity and factor structure of the SPANS. Participants were 61 people with an acquired brain injury, 35 people with a long-term neurological condition, and 122 healthy controls. Cronbach’s alphas were adequate to excellent for the clinical groups though poor for the healthy controls due to limited variance in the scores. Receiver operating characteristic curves showed that SPANS indices were significantly able to discriminate between people with a neurological condition and healthy controls as well as between left and right hemisphere damage. Exploratory factor analysis suggested the retention of 25 subtests representing three factors that largely followed the purported structure of the test: Memory and Learning, Language, and Visual-motor Performance. Limitations of the study, clinical/theoretical implications and research directions are considered. It is concluded that the SPANS is a reliable and valid tool for the assessment of cognitive function in people with an acquired brain injury, though further validation studies are required.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0309 Consciousness. Cognition
Q Science > QP Physiology > QP0351 Neurophysiology and neuropsychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0387 Brain injuries
Divisions: pre Nov-2014 > Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > Applied Psychology
Depositing User: Mrs Kathy Chaney
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2013 09:08
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2016 17:43
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/12337

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00