Convergent and criterion validity of the CogState computerized brief battery cognitive assessment in women with and without breast cancer

July 13, 2017

Authors: Sunita K Patel, Adrienne M Meier, Nathaniel Fernandez, Tracy T Y Lo, Colleen Moore, Nicole Delgado

Journal: The Clinical Neuropsychologist

DOI: 10.1080/13854046.2016.1275819

Year Published: 2017


Computerized tests have increasingly garnered interest for assessing cognitive functioning due to their potential logistical and financial advantages over traditional ‘pencil and-paper’ neuropsychological tests. However, psychometric information is necessary to guide decisions about their clinical and research utility with varied populations. We explored the convergent construct validity and criterion validity of the CogState computerized tests in breast cancer survivors, a group known to present with mostly mild, subtle cognitive dysfunction.


Fifty-three post-menopausal women (26 breast cancer survivors, 27 healthy controls) completed the CogState Brief Battery tests with passed performance checks, conceptually matched traditional neuropsychological tests, and a self-report measure of daily functioning, the Functional Activities Questionnaire.


Significant positive correlations were found between the CogState Brief Battery tests and traditional neuropsychological tests, although the traditional tests specifically hypothesized to correlate with CogState tests did not reach statistical significance. Analysis of Covariance results showed preliminary support for criterion validity, as the patient and control groups differed on the traditional test of working memory (Digits Backwards, p = .01), with a trend towards significance for the CogState test of working memory (One Back, p = .02), controlled for age, race, and mood.


The results provide preliminary support for further research to determine if the CogState tests are viable as screening tools to detect subtle cognitive differences between breast cancer survivors and healthy women. Our study was limited by the low base rate of cognitive impairment and small sample size. We recommend further research employing sufficiently powered sample sizes and a longitudinal, repeated measures study design.

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