COSMIN database

Systematic review of current executive function measures in adults with and without cognitive impairments

Pickens, S., Ostwald, S. K., Murphy-Pace, K., and Bergstrom, N.
BACKGROUND: Executive function pertains to higher cognitive processes historically linked to frontal lobes. Several measures are available to screen for executive function; however, no gold standard exists. The difficulty in assessing executive function is the existence of its many subsets.

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the psychometric properties of executive function measures and determine the most effective measure(s) through a systematic review of the literature.

SEARCH STRATEGY: The search strategy utilised a comprehensive literature review of articles written in the English language published from January 2003 to September 2009. The following electronic databases were searched: SCOPUS, PUBMED, Medline Ovid, PsychArticles and CINAHL Plus. Initial key words used were 'executive function', 'measures', 'reliability' and 'validity' followed by the addition of 'traumatic brain injury'. The initial search elicited 226 articles, of which 28 were retrieved. After further exclusion 19 were included in the review.

RESULTS: Eight measures underwent factor analysis and 18 underwent various forms of reliability and/or validity testing. Factor analysis showed different aspects of executive functions. According to preset evaluation criteria, only the Test of Practical Judgment performed all of the recommended reliability and validity testing. REVIEWER'S

CONCLUSION: Of the recently developed measures, several show promise for future use yet further validity and reliability testing is warranted. Future tool development should measure all subsets of executive function rather than only a few and include the recommended components of reliability and validity testing
Int J Evid.Based.Healthc.
Publication year:
Functional status:
Physical functioning
Adults (18-65)
Seniors (65+)
Symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified
PRO / non-PRO:
Non-patient Reported Outcome
Patient Reported Outcome
Type of measurement instrument:
6 - Clinical rating scales