Reliability, Validity, and User-Experience of Remote Unsupervised Computerized Neuropsychological Assessments in Community-Living 55- to 75-Year-Olds

March 20, 2023

Authors: Nicole A Kochan, Megan Heffernan, Michael Valenzuela, Perminder S Sachdev, Ben C P Lam, Maria Fiatarone Singh, Kaarin J Anstey, Tiffany Chau, Henry Brodaty

Journal: Journal of Alzheimer's Disease

DOI: 10.3233/JAD-220665

Year Published: 2022


Self-administered computerized neuropsychological assessments (CNAs) provide lower cost, more accessible alternatives to traditional in-person assessments but lack critical information on psychometrics and subjective experience of older adults in remote testing environments.


We used an online brief battery of computerized tasks selected from the Cogstate Brief Battery (CBB) and Cambridge Brain Sciences (CBS) to 1) determine test-retest reliability in an unsupervised setting; 2) examine convergent validity with a comprehensive ‘gold standard’ paper-and-pencil neuropsychological test battery administered in-person; and 3) explore user-experience of remote computerized testing and individual tests.


Fifty-two participants (mean age 65.8±5.7 years) completed CBB and CBS tests on their own computer, unsupervised from home, on three occasions, and visited a research center for an in-person paper-and-pencil assessment. They also completed a user-experience questionnaire.


Test-retest reliabilities varied for individual measures (ICCs = 0.20 to 0.83). Global cognition composites showed excellent reliability (ICCs > 0.8 over 1-month follow-up). A strong relationship between a combination of CNA measures and paper-and-pencil battery was found (canonical correlation R = 0.87, p = 0.04). Most tests were rated as enjoyable with easy-to-understand instructions. Ratings of general experience with online testing were mostly favorable; few had difficulty concentrating (17%) or using the computer for tasks (10%), although over one-third experienced performance anxiety (38%).


A combined brief online battery selected from two CNAs demonstrated robust psychometric standards for reliability (global composite), and convergent validity with a gold standard battery, and mostly good usability and acceptability in the remote testing environment.

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