Assessing cognitive outcomes in a rural African population: development of a neuropsychological battery in Kilifi District, Kenya

J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2004 Mar;10(2):246-60. doi: 10.1017/S1355617704102166.


The ability to measure neuropsychological outcomes in a comparable manner in different cultural groups is important if studies conducted in geographically diverse regions are to advance knowledge of disease effects and moderating influences. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the application of neuropsychological test procedures developed for use in North America and Europe to children in a rural region of Kenya. Our specific aim was to determine if these methods could be adapted to a non-Western culture in a manner that would preserve test reliability and validity. Procedural modifications yielded reliable tests that were sensitive to both the sequelae of cerebral malaria and to children's social and school backgrounds. Results suggest that adaptations of existing tests can be made in such a way as to preserve their utility in measuring the cross-cultural sequelae of childhood neurological diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Catchment Area, Health
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cognition Disorders / ethnology*
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kenya
  • Malaria, Cerebral / complications
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity