An exploration of the measurement and models of frontal functions in clinical and non-clinical populations

Wakely, Hannah (2020) An exploration of the measurement and models of frontal functions in clinical and non-clinical populations. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Objective: The thesis portfolio aimed to assess the psychometric properties and conceptual structure of rating scale measures of frontal functions.

Methods: A systematic review of the literature collected data on the validity and reliability of executive function rating scales with various clinical and non-clinical groups. Alongside this, a validation study explored the psychometric properties of the revised dysexecutive questionnaire (DEX-R) in a non-clinical population. In total, 140 participants took part, some completing the DEX-R at two different timepoints and another validated measure, the FrSBe. Factor analysis and Rasch analysis were used to explore underlying subconstructs. Correlations of mood and demographic variables were also conducted.

Results: There were 24 studies which met criteria for the systematic review. Papers used a variety of EF rating scales across different clinical and non-clinical groups. The DEX was the most widely used measure. Quality varied, many papers would have benefited from the use of a reference standard. In the empirical paper, the DEX-R was found to be a valid and reliable measure of dysexecutive problems in a non-clinical sample. It was determined to be multidimensional and a factor analysis resulted in three factors. Responses correlated with age and brief measures of anxiety and depression.

Conclusions: Rating scale measures supplement neuropsychological testing well in their ecological validity and in capturing the wide-ranging difficulties individuals may face. Understanding individual differences has clinical benefits for interpreting assessments, particularly in variation of responses influenced somewhat by age and mood. Establishing robust sub-scales that map onto models may have useful clinical applications to understand specific areas of strength and limitations relevant for rehabilitation or adapting psychological therapies.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2021 11:28
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2021 11:28


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