Applying generalizability theory to examine assessments of subjective cognitive complaints: whose reports should we rely on - participant versus informant?
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Truong, Q. C., Choo, C. C., Numbers, K., Merkin, A. G., Brodaty, H., Kochan, N. A., … Medvedev, O. N. (2021). Applying generalizability theory to examine assessments of subjective cognitive complaints: whose reports should we rely on - participant versus informant? International Psychogeriatrics, 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1041610221000363
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/14289
OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to apply the generalizability theory (G-theory) to investigate dynamic and enduring patterns of subjective cognitive complaints (SCC), and reliability of two widely used SCC assessment tools. DESIGN: G-theory was applied to assessment scales using longitudinal measurement design with five assessments spanning 10 years of follow-up. SETTING: Community-dwelling older adults aged 70-90 years and their informants, living in Sydney, Australia, participated in the longitudinal Sydney Memory and Ageing Study. PARTICIPANTS: The sample included 232 participants aged 70 years and older, and 232 associated informants. Participants were predominantly White Europeans (97.8%). The sample of informants included 76 males (32.8%), 153 females (65.9%), and their age ranged from 27 to 86 years, with a mean age of 61.3 years (SD = 14.38). MEASUREMENTS: The Memory Complaint Questionnaire (MAC-Q) and the Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (IQCODE). RESULTS: The IQCODE demonstrated strong reliability in measuring enduring patterns of SCC with G = 0.86. Marginally acceptable reliability of the 6-item MAC-Q (G = 0.77-0.80) was optimized by removing one item resulting in G = 0.80-0.81. Most items of both assessments were measuring enduring SCC with exception of one dynamic MAC-Q item. The IQCODE significantly predicted global cognition scores and risk of dementia incident across all occasions, while MAC-Q scores were only significant predictors on some occasions. CONCLUSIONS: While both informants' (IQCODE) and self-reported (MAC-Q) SCC scores were generalizable across sample population and occasions, self-reported (MAC-Q) scores may be less accurate in predicting cognitive ability and diagnosis of each individual.
Cambridge University Press
This article has been published in a revised form in International psychogeriatrics http://doi.org/10.1017/S1041610221000363. This version is published under a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND. No commercial re-distribution or re-use allowed. Derivative works cannot be distributed. © International Psychogeriatric Association.