Measuring attention in very old adults using the Test of Everyday Attention.Measuring attention in very old adults using the Test of Everyday Attention.

There is a need for validated measures of attention for use in longitudinal studies of older populations. We studied 249 participants aged 80 to 101 years using the population-based MOBILIZE Boston Study. Four subscales of the Test of Everyday Attention (TEA) were included, measuring attention switching, selective, sustained and divided attention and a neuropsychological battery including validated measures of multiple cognitive domains measuring attention, executive function and memory. The TEA previously has not been validated in persons aged 80 and older. Among participants who completed the TEA, scores on other attentional measures strongly with TEA domains (R=.60-.70). Proportions of participants with incomplete TEA subscales ranged from 8% (selective attention) to 19% (attentional switching). Reasons for not completing TEA tests included failure to comprehend test instructions despite repetition and practice.

These results demonstrate the challenges and potential value of the Test of Everyday Attention in studies of very old populations.

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