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Administering cognitive tests through touch screen tablet devices: potential issues

Jenkins, Amy, Lindsay, Stephen, Eslambolchilar, Parisa ORCID:, Thornton, Ian M. and Tales, Andrea 2016. Administering cognitive tests through touch screen tablet devices: potential issues. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease 54 (3) , pp. 1169-1182. 10.3233/JAD-160545

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Mobile technologies, such as tablet devices, open up new possibilities for health-related diagnosis, monitoring, and intervention for older adults and healthcare practitioners. Current evaluations of cognitive integrity typically occur within clinical settings, such as memory clinics, using pen and paper or computer-based tests. In the present study, we investigate the challenges associated with transferring such tests to touch-based, mobile technology platforms from an older adult perspective. Problems may include individual variability in technical familiarity and acceptance; various factors influencing usability; acceptability; response characteristics and thus validity per se of a given test. For the results of mobile technology-based tests of reaction time to be valid and related to disease status rather than extraneous variables, it is imperative the whole test process is investigated in order to determine potential effects before the test is fully developed. Researchers have emphasized the importance of including the ‘user’ in the evaluation of such devices; thus we performed a focus group-based qualitative assessment of the processes involved in the administration and performance of a tablet-based version of a typical test of attention and information processing speed (a multi-item localization task), to younger and older adults. We report that although the test was regarded positively, indicating that using a tablet for the delivery of such tests is feasible, it is important for developers to consider factors surrounding user expectations, performance feedback, and physical response requirements and to use this information to inform further research into such applications.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Computer Science & Informatics
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Uncontrolled Keywords: Aging; attention; cognition; focus groups; qualitative research; tablet computers
Publisher: IOS Press
ISSN: 1387-2877
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 1 February 2018
Date of Acceptance: 28 June 2016
Last Modified: 23 May 2023 14:44

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