Measurement of Social Cognition in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Population Based Study
Item Type:Journal Article
Citation:Burke T, Pinto-Grau M, Lonergan K, Elamin M, Bede P, Costello E, Hardiman O, Pender N, Measurement of Social Cognition in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Population Based Study, PLoS One, 11, 8, 2016, e0160850-
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Background: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rapidly progressive neurodegenerative disease. Executive dysfunction is common in patients with ALS, with up to 50% of patients performing within an impaired range. There is evidence that social cognitive deficits associ- ated with ALS are a function of deficits in executive function. The ‘ Reading the Mind in the Eyes ’ Test is a recognized test of social cognitive function, although the reliability of this instru- ment remains to be established. Methodology: Patients with ALS (n = 106), and age and IQ matched controls (n = 50) were recruited and asked to perform the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test as part of an on-going population-based study of cognitive function. ALS patients were sub-stratified based on the presence, and/or extent of executive dysfunction. Results: Cronbach ’ s Alpha of .73 was observed, indicating good reliability on this measure. Split-half reliability analysis further confirms these findings ( p =0.826).TheReadingtheMindinthe Eyes test had excellent psychometric properties when discriminating between ALS patients who are cognitively intact, and those who have executive impairment, with an overall medium difficulty. There was a large magnitude significant difference between patients and controls ( p < 0.001; η 2 = .19). Post-hoc analysis revealed that controls performed significantly higher than patients with executive impairment ( p < 0.001), and patients with single executive deficits ( p = 0.002). Conclusion: Executive dysfunction impacts on social cognitive performance. This study contributes not only to the psychometric knowledge of this measure, but also to the usability, efficacy, and reliability of social cognitive assessment in ALS. Using population-spe- cific normative data, we confirm the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test is a reliable measure of social cognitive processes in ALS.
Type of material:Journal Article
Series/Report no:PLoS One
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