The College of Education announces the final Dissertation of
for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
April 3, 2018 at 11:00 am / 103 Ball Hall
Major Advisor: Elin Ovrebo, PhD
The Frontal Assessment Battery: Relationship with Functional Status Indicators and Caregiver Burden in a Veterans Affairs Memory Clinic
ABSTRACT: Neurocognitive screening measures reflective of functional independence, often measured by basic activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), are needed for accurate detection of executive dysfunction. The Frontal Assessment Battery, a measure designed to assess executive functioning at bedside, lacks sufficient research establishing its relationship with measures of ADLs and IADLs, particularly in United States veterans. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the ecological validity of the Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB) by examining its relationship with the Functional Status Interview (FSI), a measure of basic activities (ADLs) and instrumental activities (IADLs), and caregiver burden. Participants in the primary sample were 168 veterans with a mean age of 81.3 years (SD = 7.6). The majority of participants were White (63.1%) and male (97.0%). Prior to the main analyses, principal axis factoring examined the factor structure of the Functional Status Interview (FSI) and confirmed the existence of two subscales assessing ADLs and IADLs. Correlations were calculated to examine relationships between FAB and the other measures. Two FSI factors (ADL and IADL) were identified with all items having strong loadings with the expected scale (absolute values of > 0.40) and factors accounting for 56.4% of the variance. ADL and IADL were strongly correlated. Main findings indicated a significant relationship between FAB and ADL, which slightly increased when controlling for demographic variables. A strong significant relationship was found between FAB and IADL. FAB and caregiver burden subscales were unrelated; however, when controlling for demographic variables, a weak relationship emerged with dependency burden. This study provides initial support for the ecological validity of the FAB in a sample of United States veterans. Cultural and clinical implications are discussed.