Psychometric properties of assessment tools for cognitive impairment after mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Miss Rosalie  Lui1, Ms Sue  Slade2, Ms Meg Morris3

1The Victorian Rehabilitation Centre , Glen Wavelrey , Australia, 2La Trobe University, La Trobe Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine Research School of Allied Health/College of Science, Health and Engineering, Melbourne  , Australia, 3Healthscope, North Eastern Rehabilitation Centre, Melbourne  , Australia


Objective: To source and evaluate valid and reliable screening tool(s) for cognitive deficits for mTBI within the inpatient rehabilitation setting.


Methods were informed by Cochrane Guidelines and reported via the PRISMA statement. Articles were identified using CINHAL and MEDLINE, Google Scholar and PubMed.  Search terms and MeSH terms were based on condition, intervention, setting and patient type.  Articles were searched from reference lists.

Two researchers independently screened titles and abstracts with a pre-determined eligibility criteria based on an inclusion and exclusion criteria. Researches extracted data from the included studies based on three areas; basic information about the assessment or tool, psychometric properties and implications for practice.


A search yield of 2,823 was generated, 45 articles were read in full, 17 articles were included for analysis and 15 assessment tools were identified.  The tools were predominantly self-rated questionnaires or checklists assessing cognitive, somatic, concussive or neurological domains.  Assessment tools were measured in terms of their psychometric properties, however some assessment tools did not adequately report their validity.  The Rivermead Post-concussion symptoms questionnaire produced the most research evidence with 6 studies however their results were inconclusive.  While 7 other tools were identified with adequate to excellent validity or reliability.


The validity of measurement tools is important when evaluating cognition following mTBI. A number of assessment tools were identified for the inpatient rehabilitation setting.  However it is evident that more research is needed regarding psychometric properties as current results are insufficient to recommend anyone of the identified tools.


My name is Rosalie Lui and I am a grade 2 occupational therapist working at The Victorian Rehabilitation Centre.  I completed my occupational therapy/psychological sciences degree from La Trobe University in 2010.  I am currently studying part-time masters of Public Health at Melbourne University.  I believe research is vital in improving health outcomes for all.