Date Approved

7-25-2013

Date Posted

9-17-2013

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

Committee Member

Flora Hoodin, PhD, Chair

Committee Member

Renee Lajiness-O’Neill, PhD

Committee Member

Karen Saules, PhD

Abstract

A small literature has documented cognitive deficits in adult hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) survivors across the transplant trajectory, primarily occurring in memory, executive function, attention, and processing speed. Although HCT-associated cognitive decline occurring within one year of transplantation is well documented, only two studies have longitudinally investigated cognitive function in HCT survivors beyond one year. Furthermore, studies demonstrating neuropsychological decline have made use of numerous measures and varying impairment criteria, making the compilation of findings across studies challenging. Another difficulty with the current literature base is the use of traditional neuropsychological tests that are susceptible to practice effects and thus may be inappropriate for repeated assessment at short intervals. The present study aimed to evaluate the construct and criterion validity of the Adapted CogState Brief Battery, a computerized measure that has demonstrated construct and criterion validity in medical populations with minimal practice effects and takes nominal time to administer. Participants were HCT survivors (n = 20) and their spousal partners (n = 20). They completed two brief neuropsychological batteries: CogState and traditional, counterbalanced to obviate order effects. Overall, relationships between CogState and traditional neuropsychological tasks were weaker than predicted, although some task relationships trended toward significance in predicted directions. Further, the battery demonstrated poor criterion validity in that most tasks did not discern HCT survivors from healthy spousal partners, with the exception of Identify, which identified worse performance in HCT survivors. In general, results showed promise for the use of various CogState tasks as screening tools for evaluating cognitive change over time. Future research evaluating the efficacy of CogState and traditional measures of neuropsychological function in HCT survivors is warranted.

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