Harmonization of Later-Life Cognitive Function Across National Contexts: Results from the Harmonized Cognitive Assessment Protocols (HCAPs).

TitleHarmonization of Later-Life Cognitive Function Across National Contexts: Results from the Harmonized Cognitive Assessment Protocols (HCAPs).
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of PublicationForthcoming
AuthorsGross, AL, LI, CHIHUA, Briceño, EM, Rentería, MArce, Jones, RN, Langa, KM, Manly, JJ, Nichols, EL, Weir, D, Wong, R, Berkman, L, Lee, J, Kobayashi, LC
KeywordsCognition, Education, harmonization, HCAP

BACKGROUND: The Harmonized Cognitive Assessment Protocol (HCAP) is an innovative instrument for cross-national comparisons of later-life cognitive function, yet its suitability across diverse populations is unknown. We aimed to harmonize general and domain-specific cognitive scores from HCAPs across six countries, and evaluate precision and criterion validity of the resulting harmonized scores.

METHODS: We statistically harmonized general and domain-specific cognitive function across the six publicly available HCAP partner studies in the United States, England, India, Mexico, China, and South Africa (N=21,141). We used an item banking approach that leveraged common cognitive test items across studies and tests that were unique to studies, as identified by a multidisciplinary expert panel. We generated harmonized factor scores for general and domain- specific cognitive function using serially estimated graded-response item response theory (IRT) models. We evaluated precision of the factor scores using test information plots and criterion validity using age, gender, and educational attainment.

FINDINGS: IRT models of cognitive function in each country fit well. We compared measurement reliability of the harmonized general cognitive function factor across each cohort using test information plots; marginal reliability was high (r> 0·90) for 93% of respondents across six countries. In each country, general cognitive function scores were lower with older ages and higher with greater levels of educational attainment.

INTERPRETATION: We statistically harmonized cognitive function measures across six large, population-based studies of cognitive aging in the US, England, India, Mexico, China, and South Africa. Precision of the estimated scores was excellent. This work provides a foundation for international networks of researchers to make stronger inferences and direct comparisons of cross-national associations of risk factors for cognitive outcomes.

FUNDING: National Institute on Aging (R01 AG070953, R01 AG030153, R01 AG051125, U01 AG058499; U24 AG065182; R01AG051158).

Citation Key13526
PubMed ID37398152
PubMed Central IDPMC10312860