Measuring memory in older adults : the relevance of everyday memory and the Rivermead Behavioural Memory Test : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology at Massey University

Thumbnail Image
Open Access Location
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Massey University
The Author
Assessment of memory in older adults is complicated by the varying health and disability status of older individuals, by normal age-related changes and by inadequacies in the theory underpinning memory aging. Additionally, there are limitations in conventional measures of memory when used with older adults particularly in the lack of ecological validity in measuring everyday memory processes. This limitation may risk overestimating the degree of impairment relative to the typical daily demands on memory experienced by older people. The current studies present an evaluation of the Rivermead Behavioural Memory Test (RBMT), a measure of everyday memory performance, which appeared to address some of these concerns. The RBMT was produced as a screening tool, but an exploratory study suggested that some of its subtests may discriminate between dementias of vascular and nonvascular origin. A series of studies were subsequently undertaken to evaluate the properties of the test when used in clinical memory assessment of older adults. Results supported the use of the RBMT as both a screening and diagnostic tool. This expanded use requires clinical norms based on the subtest raw scores. Results also supported the view that everyday memory remains relatively stable into the ninth decade in the absence of a dementing condition. The RBMT was not designed against a theoretical concept or model. Findings from these studies are interpreted within a working memory and systems theory framework. It is concluded that short composite measures relevant to everyday memory experiences might ultimately prove more reliable and valid than conventional tests, in assessing memory in older adults.
Content removed due to copyright restriction: Glass, J.N. (1998). Differential Subtest Scores on the Rivermead Behavioural Memory Test (RBMT) in an Elderly Population With Diagnosis of Vascular or Nonvascular Dementia. Applied Neuropsychology, 5(2), 57-64
Memory, Memory testing, Dementia