An investigation into the ecological validity of virtual reality measures of planning and prospective memory in adults with acquired brain injury and Clinical research portfolio.
D Clin Psy thesis, University of Glasgow.
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Background: Improving the ecological validity of the assessment of executive functioning after brain injury has been an important focus of research in recent years. This study investigates the ecological validity of the “JAAM test”, a novel office-based virtual-reality task, in assessing real-life difficulties post-brain injury in the domains of planning and prospective memory. The comparative ecological validity of two traditional “desktop” tests for these domains and the convergent validity between the measures are also explored. Methods: Forty adults with an acquired brain injury completed the JAAM test, the Tower Test (a test of planning) and the Cambridge Prospective Memory Test (CAMPROMPT). Self and informant versions of questionnaires (the Dysexecutive Questionnaire; DEX) and the Prospective and Retrospective Memory Questionnaire (PRMQ) designed to measure real-life difficulties in these cognitive domains were also completed. Results: Significant correlations were observed between JAAM planning scores and the DEX (r = -.49), as well as between the Tower Test and the DEX (r = -.39). The difference between the strength of these correlations was not significant. Neither the JAAM prospective memory score nor CAMPROMPT scores correlated significantly with the PRMQ. Significant correlations were found between the JAAM and Tower Test (r = .33) and CAMPROMPT (rho = .59). Discussion: Results suggest the JAAM possesses at least similar ecological validity to traditional assessments of planning and prospective memory, and it also has convergent validity with these measures. Implications and limitations of the current study are discussed and recommendations for future research proposed.
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