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Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2015 Nov;23(11):1154-61. doi: 10.1016/j.jagp.2015.05.012. Epub 2015 Jun 5.

A Tablet-PC-Based Cancellation Test Assessing Executive Functions in Older Adults.

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Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris, Broca Hospital, and University Paris Descartes, Paris, France. Electronic address:
Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris, Broca Hospital, and University Paris Descartes, Paris, France.
Alzheimer Center and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.



To examine older adults' performance on a newly developed tablet-PC-based cancellation test (e-CT) and to study its psychometric properties.


94 older adults with normal cognitive functioning were recruited. The effects of age, education, sex, and experience with computer-based devices on the e-CT were examined. Construct validity was tested by correlating the e-CT with established measures of executive functions (EF) and episodic memory. Correlation coefficients were used to assess short-term test-retest reliablity.


The mean age of participants was 74.6 (SD: 7.3) years and 78% were women. Sixty-nine percent had higher education level (> high school) and 76% used computer-based devices daily. The correct cancellations (CC) on the e-CT ranged from 18 to 56, with a mean (SD) of 40.3 (5.7). The CC was inversely correlated with advancing age (rs = -0.59, N = 94, p <0.001) and positively associated with higher education level (U(94) = 646.5, p = 0.02). No relationship was observed between the e-CT and sex or computer-based device experience. In multivariate analysis, only age remained significantly associated with CC (β = -0.46, SE = 0.07, t = -6.47, df = 93, p <0.001). The e-CT correlated significantly with most of measures of EF. Highest correlations were found between the e-CT and the K-T test, a paper-and-pencil cancellation test (rs = 0.63, N = 90, p <0.001) and TMT-B (rs = -0.41, N = 85, p <0.001). The e-CT did not correlate with the RL-RI 16 episodic memory test. The correlation between the first and second e-CT indicated good reliability (rs = 0.89, N = 13, p <0.001).


Results suggested that e-CT has good psychometric properties and may be useful for assessing EF in older adults.


Computer experience; computerized cognitive assessment; executive functions; psychometrics

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