Abstract

Objective: While there is an emerging interest in examining effects of health-related and lifestyle activities on cognition, few existing self-report measures target such domains. The present study was designed to provide initial psychometric data on the Cognitive Health Questionnaire (CHQ), a recently developed measure assessing frequency of various lifestyle factors, nutritional variables, and use of cognitive strategies in daily life. Method: CHQ scale items were rationally derived by the first three authors based on consensus agreement of face and content validity. The completed 17-item scale was then administered to a multisite (university, medical center, research institution) outpatient multiple sclerosis (MS) sample (N = 125). The CHQ was factor analyzed using oblique rotation and factors were correlated with demographic and cognitive variables. Results: Factor analysis of the CHQ indicated a two-factor solution, corresponding to nutrition/exercise (NE) and social/intellectual activity (SI). Items related to sleep duration, alcohol use, and medical visits were not retained in the factor solution. The NE and SI factors were significantly correlated with each other (p < .01), and the SI factor correlated with education (p < .01). In a subset of the sample, the SI factor correlated with SDMT-Oral and the PASAT 3-second trial (p < .05). Conclusion(s): Our initial data suggest that the CHQ may prove useful in settings where information related to cognitive health factors is obtained. Future work should validate the CHQ and its factor structure in separate patient and control groups, determine correlations between factors and diverse cognitive variables, and examine its relationship to clinical symptoms amenable to intervention.