Reliability of a Novel Social Activity Questionnaire

Zuelsdorff ML, Koscik RL, Okonkwo OC, Peppard PE, Hermann BP, Sager MA, Johnson SC, Engelman CD

Journal of Aging and Health. 2016 Oct 1:898264316674812. [Epub ahead of print]


OBJECTIVE: Social activity is associated with healthy aging and preserved cognition. Such activity includes a confluence of social support and verbal interaction, each influencing cognition through rarely parsed, mechanistically distinct pathways. We created a novel verbal interaction measure for the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer's Prevention (WRAP) and assessed reliability of resultant data, a first step toward mechanism-driven examination of social activity as a modifiable predictor of cognitive health. METHOD: Two WRAP subsamples completed a test-retest study to determine 8-week stability ( n = 107) and 2-year stability ( n = 136) of verbal interaction, and 2-year stability of perceived social support. Reliability was determined using quadratic-weighted kappa, percent agreement, or correlation coefficients. RESULTS: Reliability was fair to almost perfect. The association between social support and interaction quantity decreased with age. DISCUSSION: Social activity data demonstrate moderate to excellent temporal stability. Moreover, in older individuals, social support and verbal interaction represent two distinct dimensions of social activity.


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