A systematic review of validity procedures used in neuropsychological batteries

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This study presents a systematic review of validity evidence for neuropsychological batteries. Studies published in international databases between 2005 and 2012 were examined. Considering the specificity of neuropsychological batteries, the aim of the study was to review the statistical analyses and procedures that have been used to validate these instruments. A total of 1,218 abstracts were read, of which 147 involved studies of neuropsychological batteries or tests that evaluated at least three cognitive processes. The full text of each article was analyzed according to publication year, focal instrument of the study, sample type, sample age range, characterization of the participants, and procedures and analyses used to provide evidence of validity. The results showed that the studies primarily analyzed patterns of convergence and divergence by correlating the instruments with other tests. Measures of reliability, such as internal consistency and test-retest reliability, were also frequently employed. To provide evidence of relationships between test scores and external criteria, the most common procedures were evaluations of sensitivity and specificity, and comparisons were made between contrasting groups. The statistical analyses frequently used were Receiver Operating Characteristic analysis, Pearson correlation, and Cronbach's alpha. We discuss the necessity of incorporating both classic and modern psychometric procedures and presenting a broader scope of validity evidence, which would represent progress in this field. Finally, we hope our findings will help researchers better plan the validation process for new neuropsychological instruments and batteries.

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