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To evaluate an abbreviated NIH Toolbox Cognition Battery (NIHTB-CB) protocol that can be administered remotely without any in-person assessments, and explore the agreement between prorated scores from the abbreviated protocol and standard scores from the full protocol.
Participant-level age-corrected NIHTB-CB data were extracted from six studies in individuals with a history of stroke, mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), treatment-resistant psychosis, and healthy controls, with testing administered under standard conditions. Prorated fluid and total cognition scores were estimated using regression equations that excluded the three fluid cognition NIHTB-CB instruments which cannot be administered remotely. Paired t tests and intraclass correlations (ICCs) were used to compare the standard and prorated scores.
Data were available for 245 participants. For fluid cognition, overall prorated scores were higher than standard scores (mean difference = +4.5, SD = 14.3; p < 0.001; ICC = 0.86). For total cognition, overall prorated scores were higher than standard scores (mean difference = +2.7, SD = 8.3; p < 0.001; ICC = 0.88). These differences were significant in the stroke and mTBI groups, but not in the healthy control or psychosis groups.
Prorated scores from an abbreviated NIHTB-CB protocol are not a valid replacement for the scores from the standard protocol. Alternative approaches to administering the full protocol, or corrections to scoring of the abbreviated protocol, require further study and validation.
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