Bi-factor analyses of the Brief Test of Adult Cognition by Telephone

Brandon E. Gavett, Paul K. Crane, Kristen Dams-O'Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Telephone cognitive batteries are useful for large-scale screening and epidemiological studies, but their brevity and lack of content depth may cause psychometric limitations that hinder their utility. Objective: The current study addressed some of these limitations by rescaling the Brief Test of Adult Cognition by Telephone (BTACT; Tun & Lachman, 2006) using modern psychometric methods. Methods: Archival data were obtained from a national sample of 4,212 28 to 84-year-old volunteers in the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States (Ryff et al., 2007) Cognitive Project (Ryff & Lachman, 2007). We fit a bi-factor model to a combination of item-level, subscale-level, and scale-level data. Results: The best fitting model contained a general factor and secondary factors capturing test-specific method effects or residual correlations for Number Series, Red/Green Test, and the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test. Factor scores generated from this model were compared with conventional BTACT scores. Important score differences (i.e., >0.3 standard deviation units) were found in 28% of the sample. The bi-factor scores demonstrated slightly superior validity than conventional BTACT scores when judged against a number of clinical and demographic criterion variables. Conclusions: Modern psychometric approaches to scoring the BTACT have the benefit of linear scaling and a modest criterion validity advantage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-265
Number of pages13
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013


  • Telephone
  • bi-factor model
  • cognitive assessment
  • modern psychometrics
  • neuropsychology


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