Criterion validity of the brief test of adult cognition by telephone (BTACT) for mild traumatic brain injury

On behalf of the National Biobank and Database of Patients with Traumatic Brain Injury (CanTBI) investigators and the Canadian Traumatic Brain Injury Research Consortium (CTRC)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: There is a growing demand for remote assessment options for measuring cognition after mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). The current study evaluated the criterion validity of the Brief Test of Adult Cognition by Telephone (BTACT) in distinguishing between adults with mTBI and trauma controls (TC) who sustained injuries not involving the head or neck. Methods: The BTACT was administered to the mTBI (n = 46) and TC (n = 35) groups at 1–2 weeks post-injury. Participants also completed the Rivermead Post Concussion Symptoms Questionnaire. Results: The BTACT global composite score did not significantly differ between the groups (t(79) = −1.04, p = 0.30); the effect size was small (d = 0.23). In receiver operating characteristic curve analyses, the BTACT demonstrated poor accuracy in differentiating between the groups (AUC = 0.567, SE = 0.065, 95% CI [0.44, 0.69]). The BTACT’s ability to discriminate between mTBI and TCs did not improve after excluding mTBI participants (n = 15) who denied ongoing cognitive symptoms (AUC = 0.567, SE = 0.072, 95% CI [0.43, 0.71]). Conclusions: The BTACT may lack sensitivity to subacute cognitive impairment attributable to mTBI (i.e., not explained by bodily pain, post-traumatic stress, and other nonspecific effects of injury).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1228-1236
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Injury
Issue number10-11
StatePublished - 2022


  • Craniocerebral trauma
  • cognition
  • concussion
  • neuropsychological tests
  • telemedicine
  • traumatic brain injury


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