2019 Volume 62 Issue 4 Pages 278-284
Background There will probably be an exponential increase in the number of seniors suffering from dementia, as aging is the greatest risk factor for this disease. Therefore, neuropsychological tests to assessing dementia are likely to play an increasingly important role for medical services in Japan. This study developed and evaluated the usefulness of a training program on neuropsychological tests aimed at promoting the understanding of testers with regard to the cognitive functions and communication required in the neuropsychological testing process.
Methods The subjects of this study comprised 20 individuals engaged in administrating neuropsychological tests at the Japan-Multidomain Intervention Trial for Prevention of Dementia in Older Adults with Diabetes. A four-hour training session was held. The first part of the training program focused on “cognitive functions and communication;” the second addressed “neuropsychological tests.” As the main evaluation criteria, a fidelity checklist was created with 14 items designed to measure success or failure with regard to important and easily mistakable aspects of implementing each neuropsychological test. They were conducted three times: before, immediately after, and six months after the training.
Results The main effect of time was significant for the “fidelity” score. The effect size was large at η2 = 0.69. A simple main effect test using the Bonferroni method revealed significant differences between the pre-training and post-training values and between the pre-training and six-month point values. However, no significant differences were found in self-efficacy scores before, immediately after, and six months after the training.
Conclusion This outcome indicates that the fidelity of the subjects to neuropsychological tests increased as a result of the training program, and that this improvement was maintained through the six-month period following the program. Moreover, the large effect size suggests that the training program may be effective in facilitating the mastery of neuropsychological tests in testers.