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Dissertation

Measuring the Impact of Anxiety on Neuropsychological Assessment in Older Adults

27 December 2019

Abstract

Older adults are the largest population seeking neuropsychological assessment services. Anxiety has been shown to impact test scores, yet no anxiety measure currently exists specific to the context of neuropsychological assessment. This study piloted and validated a measure of neuropsychological assessment anxiety developed to measure the cognitive, affective, and physiological aspects of test and state anxiety: The Feelings About Neuropsychological Testing measure (FANT). Method. The measure was validated on 105 community based older adults aged 55 and older. All participants were administered the FANT, the Generalized Anxiety Disorder- seven item (GAD-7), Test Anxiety Inventory- Short Form (TAI-SF), Patient Health Questionnairenine item (PHQ-9), Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Dementia Worry Scale (DWS), and PROMIS Cognitive Function Short Form- 6a (CFSF). Results. The measure proved feasible to administer, both the state and test section of the measure demonstrated good internal consistency (state:  = .829; test:  = .891), and demonstrated good discriminant (compared to PSQI) and external validity (compared to GAD-7, TAI-SF, PHQ-9, DWS, and CFSF). Discussion. The FANT will be a useful measure of assessment related anxiety to inform and guide possible intervention to maximize performance during testing sessions and to inform data interpretation. High scores on the FANT may reveal patients who will struggle to regulate their attention and attentional control.

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Dorenkamp_Megan_PhD_SGP_2019.pdf
7 Oct 2020
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