Shifting of Cognitive Assessments Between Face-to-Face and Telephone Administration: Measurement Considerations.

TitleShifting of Cognitive Assessments Between Face-to-Face and Telephone Administration: Measurement Considerations.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsSmith, JR, Gibbons, LE, Crane, PK, Mungas, DM, M Glymour, M, Manly, JJ, Zahodne, LB, Mayeda, ERose, Jones, RN, Gross, AL
JournalThe Journals of Gerontology, Series B
ISSN Number1758-5368
KeywordsCognition, Mode effects, Psychometrics, Telephone

OBJECTIVES: Telephone-administered cognitive assessments are a cost-effective and sometimes necessary alternative to face-to-face assessments. There is limited information in large studies concerning mode effects, or differences in cognition attributable to assessment method, as a potential measurement threat. We evaluated mode effects on cognitive scores using a population-based sample of community-living older adults.

METHODS: We used data from participants aged 65-79 in the 2014 Health and Retirement Study for whom interview mode was randomized (n=6825). We assessed mode differences in test means, whether mode modifies associations of cognition with criterion variables, and formal measurement invariance testing.

RESULTS: Relative to face-to-face assessment, telephone assessment was associated with higher scores for memory and calculation (0.06 to 0.013 standard deviations (SD)) and lower scores for non-memory items (-0.09 to -0.01 SD). Cognition was significantly differentially related to IADL difficulty depending on assessment mode. Measurement invariance testing identified evidence of mode differences in certain tests as a function of mode: adjusting for underlying cognition, the largest mode differences in memory and attention: immediate noun recall, delayed word recall, and serial-7s scores were higher given telephone administration.

DISCUSSION: Differences by mode of administration are apparent in cognitive measurement in older adults albeit to a small degree in our study, and most pronounced for tests of memory and attention. The importance of accounting for mode differences ultimately depends on one's research question and study sample: not all associations may be affected by mode differences and such modification may only be apparent among those with lower cognitive functioning.

Citation Key12699
PubMed ID36099407
PubMed Central IDPMC9938920