Evaluating the Dimensionality of Perceived Cognitive Function

Jin Shei Lai*, Zeeshan Butt, Lynne Wagner, Jerry J. Sweet, Jennifer L. Beaumont, Janette Vardy, Paul B. Jacobsen, Pamela J. Shapiro, Sheri R. Jacobs, David Cella

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Decrements in cognitive function are common in cancer patients and other clinical populations. As direct neuropsychological testing is often not feasible or affordable, there is potential utility in screening for deficits that may warrant a more comprehensive neuropsychological assessment. Furthermore, some evidence suggests that perceived cognitive function (PCF) is independently associated with structural and functional changes on neuroimagery, and may precede more overt deficits. To appropriately measure PCF, one must understand its components and the underlying dimensional structure. The purpose of this study was to examine the dimensionality of PCF in people with cancer. The sample included 393 cancer patients from four clinical trials who completed a questionnaire consisting of the prioritized areas of concerns identified by patients and clinicians: self-reported mental acuity, concentration, memory, verbal fluency, and functional interference. Each area contained both negatively worded (i.e., deficit) and positively worded (i.e., capability) items. Data were analyzed by using Cronbach's alpha, item-total correlations, one-factor confirmatory factor analysis, and a bi-factor analysis model. Results indicated that perceived cognitive problem items are distinct from cognitive capability items, supporting a two-factor structure of PCF. Scoring of PCF based on these two factors should lead to improved assessment of PCF for people with cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)982-995
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2009


  • Perceived cognitive function
  • bi-factor analysis
  • dimensionality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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