Objective: Assessing one's functional capacity-in addition to neuropsychological performance-is essential for determining neurocognitive status, and functional assessment is often provided via informant report. Although informant characteristics have been shown to influence reports of participant functioning, the degree to which they moderate relationships between reported functioning and participant performance on neuropsychological testing is unclear. Moreover, associations among informant characteristics, reported functioning, and neuropsychological performance have not been adequately examined with non-Hispanic Black (NHB) samples, despite this population's disproportionately high risk of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.
Method: In this cross-sectional observational study, we examined the influence of informant characteristics on informant reports of participant functioning (assessed via the Functional Activities Questionnaire [FAQ]) and associations between reported functioning and participant performance on neuropsychological testing, among NHB adult participants in the National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center cohort (n = 1024).
Results: Informants who were younger, female, more educated, knew participants longer, or lived with participants reported poorer participant functioning (p < .001). However, younger (vs. older) informants provided reports of functioning that were more predictive of visuoconstructional ability and visual memory, and male (vs. female) informants provided reports of functioning that were more predictive of verbal memory, visuoconstructional ability and visual memory, and language (ps < .001).
Conclusions: Within the context of neurocognitive evaluations of NHB participants, informant characteristics may influence subjective reports of participants' functioning and the extent to which reported functioning corroborates objective participant performance on neuropsychological testing.
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Assessment; Cross-cultural/minority; Dementia; Everyday functioning.
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