Comparison of digital games as a cognitive function assessment tool for current standardized neuropsychological tests
Ananaira Alves Goulart; André Lucatelli; Paulo Sergio Panse Silveira; José de Oliveira Siqueira; Maria José Carvalho Carmona; Livia Stocco Sanches Valentin; Joaquim Edson Vieira
Cognitive dysfunction may occur postoperatively. Fast and efficient assessment of Postoperative Cognitive Dysfunction (POCD) can minimize loss of quality of life, and therefore, a study comparing a digital game with standard neuropsychological tests to assess executive, mnemonic, and attention functions to evaluate POCD seems to be relevant both for research and clinical practice.
A battery of standardized tests and a digital game (MentalPlus®) were administered to 60 patients at the Central Institute of Hospital das Clínicas in São Paulo (36 women and 24 men), ages between 29 and 82 years, pre-and post-surgery performed under anesthesia. Correlation and linear regression model were used to compare the scores obtained from the standardized tests to the scores of the six executive and cognitive functions evaluated by the game (short- and long-term memory, selective and alternating attention, inhibitory control, and visual perception).
After correlation analysis, a statistically significant result was found mainly for the correlation between the scores from the phase of the digital game assessing the visuoperception function and the scores from the A and B cards of the Stroop Test (p < 0.001, r = 0.99 and r = 0.64, respectively), and the scores from TMTA (p = 0.0046, r = 0.51). We also found a moderate correlation between the phase of the game assessing short-memory function and VVLT (p < 0.001, r = 0.41). No statistically significant correlations were found for the other functions assessed.
The digital game provided scores in agreement with standardized tests for evaluating visual perception and possibly short-term memory cognitive functions. Further studies are necessary to verify the correlation of other phases of the digital game with standardized tests assessing cognitive functions.