For Clinicians And Researchers.

Neuropsychol Rehabil. 2015 Nov 11:1-26. 
A virtual shopping task for the assessment of executive functions: Validity for people with stroke.
Nir-Hadad SY1,2, Weiss PL2, Waizman A1, Schwartz N1, Kizony R2,3.


The importance of assessing executive functions (EF) using ecologically valid assessments has been discussed extensively.

 

Due to the difficulty of carrying out such assessments in real-world settings on a regular basis, virtual reality has been proposed as a technique to provide complex functional tasks under a variety of differing conditions while measuring various aspects of performance and controlling for stimuli. The main goal of this study was to examine the discriminant, construct-convergent and ecological validity of the Adapted Four-Item Shopping Task, an assessment of the Instrumental Activity of Daily Living (IADL) of shopping.

 

Nineteen people with stroke, aged 50-85 years, and 20 age- and gender-matched healthy participants performed the shopping task in both the SeeMe Virtual Interactive Shopping environment and a real shopping environment (the hospital cafeteria) in a counterbalanced order.

 

The shopping task outcomes were compared to clinical measures of EF. The findings provided good initial support for the validity of the Adapted Four-Item Shopping Task as an IADL assessment that requires the use of EF for people with stroke.

 

Further studies should examine this task with a larger sample of people with stroke as well as with other populations who have deficits in EF.