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Executive Function Performance Test - Essay Example

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The paper "Executive Function Performance Test" describes a tool to be used for stroke patients, and its ability to predict their performance in complex life tasks in a real-world scenario; both the reliability and validity of the scale were evaluated…
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Executive Function Performance Test
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Executive Function Performance Test
The present study, conducted by Baum et al., evaluated the Executive Function Performance Test (EFPT) in a sample of patients with stroke. Numerous diseases and conditions reduce the competencies and abilities of the affected population, and it is important to predict their performance, in order to guide a treatment plan and a therapeutic approach that includes both the patient and his/her family. This study assessed a tool to be used for stroke patients, and its ability to predict their performance in complex life tasks in a real-world scenario; both the reliability and validity of the scale were evaluated.
This is an analytic observational cross-sectional study, where two groups, stroke patients, and a control group, were assessed using the EFPT. The researchers wanted to quantify the relationship between factors. The intervention was not randomly assigned and the results were determined as the same time as the application of the tool.
Several variables were used in this study. First, individuals were classified by their demographic characteristics: age, level of education, race, and gender. Second, the level of impairment (mild or moderate stroke), using the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, and the level of cognition with the Short Blessed Test, were established. Then, several executive functions were measured in each of the four tasks: cooking, using the telephone, taking medications, and paying bills. Using the above-mentioned variables, researchers measured the Reliability, Construct Validity, and Concurrent Validity of the scale.
The EFPT measures the performance of the individual in four important daily tasks, allowing a better approach to reality. It also records the support the patient needs in these tasks, so that family members can be educated and advised by the practitioner. The most important feature of the scale is that it assesses actual performance, and the individual is observed throughout the tasks.
After dividing participants into two groups, mild or moderate stroke, both the stroke individuals and the control group were presented with the EFPT scale and its four tasks; five executive functions were measured for each of the tasks, and the level of third party support was also recorded. After that, the authors used analysis of variance and correlation tests to determine the differences between the groups and to measure the validity of the scale.
Reliability is the degree to which an instrument measures the same way each time it is used; it may be estimated by the agreement between examiners and its internal consistency. In the study, interrater reliability was measured using intraclass correlation coefficients and Cronbach’s alpha for each of the tasks, and to correlate each of the test domains with the total score.
Validity is related to how close the results, based on the measurement, are related to the truth. In the present study, validity was measured by comparing the performance across the three groups, founded in the results of measurements. In addition, the scale was compared and correlated with other neuropsychological measures which are known to assess executive functions.
According to the results, shown in table No 1 of the original document, the demographic characteristics were similar in the study groups. The control individuals were younger, but there was no statistical significance. Patients with moderate stroke had higher scores in the EFPT tasks, followed by patients with mild stroke, and control individuals. Both the EFPT total score and each of the executive functions showed a similar trend. These results confirm the hypotheses of the study.
The study has the strength of evaluating a scale that measures instrumental tasks and the level of assistance affected individuals need in these tasks. As with other scales, researchers are measuring important characteristics of this instrument: validity and reliability. This attempt adds new knowledge into the instruments used to evaluate individual functioning in stroke. However, the study has some limitations: the sample of individuals that is evaluated is too small; the groups are different in size; and, finally, the disadvantages of a cross-sectional study. Read More
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