Ecological validity of measures of executive functioning
Odhuba RA., van den Broek MD., Johns LC.
Objectives. This study aimed to ascertain the ecological validity of the Hayling and Brixton tests of executive functioning, by investigating whether cognitive 'impairment' detected by these measures was associated with assessment of 'disability' and 'handicap'. Design and method. A correlational design was employed to evaluate the degree of association between the executive test results, and behavioural and community integration measures. Participants were 53 people with brain injuries participants who were selected from neuropsychology patient lists and their 'significant other'. The brain-injured participant was given the executive tests, together with behavioural and community integration questionnaires, while their 'significant other' was given an equivalent behavioural questionnaire and structured interview. Results. There were moderate relationships between scores on the tests and measures of everyday functioning, suggesting that the tests have modest ecological validity. Conclusions. The tests contribute to understanding the impact of executive impairment on everyday functioning, but they should be interpreted in combination with other measures of executive functioning. © 2005 The British Psychological Society.