NSHD – Age 68-70 – Timed Letter Search/Letter Cancellation Test

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The MRC National Survey of Health of Development (NSHD) assessed their cohort members (CMs) during the study’s age 68-70 sweep using the Timed Letter Search/Letter Cancellation Test.

Details on this measure and the data collected from the CMs are outlined in the table below.

Domain:Processing speed
Mental speed
Visual scanning
CHC:Gv (Visual Processing)
Gs (Processing Speed)
Administration method:Research nurse; face to face; pen and paper
Procedure:As in sweeps age 53 and age 60 - 64 years
Link to questionnaire:https://skylark.ucl.ac.uk/NSHD/lib/exe/fetch.php?media=questionnaires:2015_capi.pdf (opens in new tab)
Scoring:The number of hits, misses and row/column reached were recorded, meaning multiple scoring schemes are possible. Although there is no definitive scoring system used, the most widely adopted approach is to calculate speed (number of letters scanned) and/or accuracy (dividing the number of missed targets for each trial by the corresponding speed score).
Item-level variable(s):VSCFLAG15x - VSRWTOT15x
Total score/derived variable(s):VSP15x, VSPTOT15x
Descriptives:Accuracy score (raw score)
N = 2,114
Range = 60 - 591
Mean = 270.04
SD = 72.60
(click image to enlarge)
Age of participants (months):Mean = 834.14, SD = 2.93, Range = 828 - 848
Other sweep and/or cohort:NSHD – Age 43 – Timed Letter Search/Letter Cancellation Test (3 trials)
NSHD – Age 53 – Timed Letter Search/Letter Cancellation Test
NSHD – Age 60-64 – Timed Letter Search/Letter Cancellation Test
NCDS – Age 50 – Timed Letter Search/Letter Cancellation Test
NCDS – Age 61-63 – Proposed repeat of tests at age 50
BCS70 – Age 46-47 – Timed Letter Search/Letter Cancellation Test
Source:The letter cancellation test adapted from the MRC Cognitive Function and Ageing Study (MRC CFA Study, 1998).
Technical resources:None
Reference examples:Proitsi, P., Kuh, D., Wong, A., Maddock, J., Bendayan, R., Wulaningsih, W., ... & Richards, M. (2018). Lifetime cognition and late midlife blood metabolites: findings from a British birth cohort. Translational Psychiatry, 8(1), 203.
Tsui, A., Kuh, D., Richards, M., & Davis, D. (2018). Delirium symptoms are associated with decline in cognitive function between ages 53 and 69 years: findings from a British birth cohort study. Alzheimer's & Dementia, 14(5), 617-622.

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This page is part of CLOSER’s ‘A guide to the cognitive measures in five British birth cohort studies’.