Functional Assessment and Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaires: Measurement Invariance Across Hispanics and Non-Hispanic Whites

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Purpose of the Study: We tested the ethnic-group measurement invariance of 2 commonly used informant-report scales of patients’ dementia symptoms: the Functional Assessment Questionnaire (FAQ), a measure of functional abilities, and the Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire (NPI-Q), a measure of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia. Design and Methods: We conducted multigroup confirmatory factor analyses on 311 Hispanic and 10,863 non-Hispanic White (NHW) outpatients and their informants diagnosed with dementia or normal cognition at their initial Alzheimer’s Disease Center evaluations nationwide. Results: We confirmed our hypothesized one-factor FAQ and four-factor NPI-Q models for each ethnic group. We also found evidence for the configural (i.e., number of factors) and factorial (i.e., pattern of factor loadings) invariance of both scales and structural (i.e., factor covariances) invariance of the NPI-Q across groups. However, we did not obtain evidence for ethnic-group scalar (i.e., intercept) invariance for either scale. Implications: The FAQ and NPI-Q were operating similarly across Hispanics and NHWs, suggesting that they can be meaningfully used within and across these groups to measure informant-reported dementia symptomatology. However, their scalar noninvariance indicates that meaningful ethnic-group comparisons of their latent factor mean values cannot be made.

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