A Brief, Telephone Administered Cognitive Instrument

Period of Performance: 09/30/2000 - 08/31/2001


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

NEW England Research Institutes, Inc.
Watertown, MA 02472
Principal Investigator


Cognitive functioning is a critical component of quality of life in later years and is associated with a number of fi1nctionaI and health outcomes. There is increasing recognition of the importance of measures of cognition in large-scale epidemi6logical studies. However, available measures are typically too long or complex, require face-to-face administration, or are not appropriate for survey administration format. The goal of this SBIR is to develop a brief, telephone-administered instrument to validly and reliably measure normal cognitive functioning. TELECOG focuses on two cognitive domains, working memory and cognitive processing speed, which are highly age sensitive and represent basic capacity and processing skills that underlie higher level cognitive performance and have been related to daily functional activities. The aims of Phase I were to 1) develop the hardware/software, and 2) conduct a preliminary investigation of the validity of the tests that comprise TELECOG. Results of Phase I work has established the feasibility and usability of TELECOG. Results of pilot testing provide preliminary support of the construct validity and reliability of TELECOG and have identified needed technical enhancements. Phase II aims are to I) optimize the TELECOG technology; 2) streamline TELECOG so that it meets our established administration time; 3) improve the reaction time measurements and speech recognition components; 4) test the validity and reliability of the optimized TELECOG; 5) develop a CATI version; and 6) arrange for distribution. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: TELECOG will be marketed through a major distributor of cognitive tests such as Western Psychological Services for use in health and health- related telephone surveys of older adults. A CATI version of the battery will also be available. Potential users include a broad range of researchers in the fields of medicine, nursing care and other health professions, health services, sociology and psychology.