Older Blacks’ Experiences with Traditional Paper-And-Pencil Versus Computerized Cognitive Batteries

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Traditional neuropsychological batteries may not account for disparities in education quantity and quality and may produce testing anxiety, particularly for older Black adults. Thus, there is increased appeal to measure cognitive status using computerized batteries as they incorporate interactive game-like experiences. The current study explores whether older Black adults’ perceptions of completing the CogState Brief Battery and Joggle®, well-known computerized batteries, are more favorable than a traditional paper-and-pencil neuropsychological battery. Analyses included 93 self-identified Black adults (ages 55–86; 77% female; mean education=14.7) from Tampa, Florida. After taking each test battery, participants completed a survey that asked what they liked and disliked about the tests and provided suggestions for improvement. Three researchers independently coded the data using Atlas.ti version 7. Codes were reconciled with a consensus method. The majority of participants liked all three batteries and had minimal dislikes or suggestions for improvements. The most common positive themes about the batteries included: 1) challenging; and, 2) mental stimulation and testing memory. Participants particularly enjoyed the card games (CogState), Benton Visual Retention Test (neuropsychological) and the Balloon Analogue Risk Task (Joggle®). Across all test batteries, close to 20% of participants expressed a lack of competence in their ability to master the tasks. A dislike specific to the computerized batteries included visual appearance (e.g., words and shapes too small). In contrast, a dislike specific to the neuropsychological battery included the Card Rotation task. Implications for cognitive testing of older Black adults will be discussed.

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Innovation in Aging, v. 2, issue suppl_1, p. 647-648