Department of Quantitative Health Sciences
Cognition and Perception | Mental Disorders | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology
BACKGROUND: It is colloquially considered that cognitive tests can be adversely affected by administration in a foreign location. However, a definitive demonstration of this is lacking in the literature. To determine whether or not this is the case, we compared the results of cognitive testing in a familiar versus foreign environment by single test administrator of individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease randomized to placebo in a multi-site clinical study.
FINDINGS: Cognitive tests were administered to 6 long-term residents of an assisted living facility at their residence (the "Familiar" cohort). The identical tests were administered to a newly admitted resident and to 2 community-dwelling individuals who drove to the administrator's office for the first time (the "Foreign" cohort). Secondary testing was administered 3 months later at the same respective locations. Caregivers of participants completed reports of mood, behavior and activities of daily living. The Familiar cohort performed equally well at both visits. The Foreign cohort performed significantly worse than the Familiar cohort at baseline. They improved statistically, and matched Familiar cohort performance, by their second visit. Caregiver reports for both cohorts were unchanged between visits.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings support the notion that a foreign location can adversely affect performance on cognitive tests, and therefore support cognitive testing in a familiar location.
Rights and Permissions
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
DOI of Published Version
BMC Res Notes. 2015 Mar 4;8:66. doi: 10.1186/s13104-015-1021-3. Link to article on publisher's site
BMC research notes
Bechtel, Cynthia; Remington, Ruth; Barton, Bruce A.; Barysauskas, Constance; and Shea, Thomas B., "Cognitive testing for dementia is adversely affected by administration in a foreign location" (2015). Open Access Articles. 2496.