THURSDAY, Feb. 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The NIH-Toolbox Cognitive Battery (NIHTB-CB) is reliable and valid for children and young adults with intellectual disability (ID), according to a study published online Feb. 24 in Neurology.

Rebecca H. Shields, from the University of California Davis in Sacramento, and colleagues assessed 242 individuals with fragile X syndrome (FXS), Down syndrome (DS), and other ID, ages 6 through 25 years, to assess the feasibility, test-retest reliability, and convergent validity of the NIHTB-CB. Accommodations and standard assessment guidelines were developed to facilitate accessibility and measurement accuracy.

The researchers found that all tests had excellent feasibility at a mental age of older than 5.0 years. Between mental ages 3 and 4 years, there was more varied feasibility across tests. There was variation in reliability and convergent validity, from moderate to strong. A moderate-to-strong correlation was seen for each test and the Crystallized and Fluid Composite scores with IQ; modest correlations were seen for the Crystallized Composite with adaptive behavior. By detecting expected executive function deficits in FXS and receptive language deficit in DS, the NIHTB-CB showed known-groups validity.

“People with intellectual disabilities can be very difficult to assess. Many of the existing measures we use to evaluate them have a lot of limitations,” a coauthor said in a statement. “We really hope that the NIH Toolbox cognitive tests can be used more uniformly, as a common metric.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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