Nevin Manimala Statistics

A psychometric evaluation of the NIH Toolbox fluid cognition tests adapted for Swahili and Dholuo languages in Kenyan children and adolescents

J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2023 Dec;29(10):933-942. doi: 10.1017/S1355617723000632. Epub 2023 Nov 22.


OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the culturally adapted NIH Toolbox African Languages® when used in Swahili and Dholuo-speaking children in western Kenya.

METHOD: Swahili-speaking participants were recruited from Eldoret and Dholuo-speaking participants from Ajigo; all were <14 years of age and enrolled in primary school. Participants completed a demographics questionnaire and five fluid cognition tests of the NIH Toolbox® African Languages program, including Flanker, Dimensional Change Card Sort (DCCS), Picture Sequence Memory, Pattern Comparison, and List Sorting tests. Statistical analyses examined aspects of reliability, including internal consistency (in both languages) and test-retest reliability (in Dholuo only).

RESULTS: Participants included 479 children (n = 239, Swahili-speaking; n = 240, Dholuo-speaking). Generally, the tests had acceptable psychometric properties for research use within Swahili- and Dholuo-speaking populations (mean age = 10.5; SD = 2.3). Issues related to shape identification and accuracy over speed limited the utility of DCCS for many participants, with approximately 25% of children unable to match based on shape. These cultural differences affected outcomes of reliability testing among the Dholuo-speaking cohort, where accuracy improved across all five tests, including speed.

CONCLUSIONS: There is preliminary evidence that the NIH Toolbox ® African Languages potentially offers a valid assessment of development and performance using tests of fluid cognition in Swahili and Dholuo among research settings. With piloting underway across other diverse settings, future research should gather additional evidence on the clinical utility and acceptability of these tests, specifically through the establishment of norming data among Kenyan regions and evaluating these psychometric properties.

PMID:37989561 | DOI:10.1017/S1355617723000632

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