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Brief Test of Adult Cognition by Telephone (BTACT)
Please visit this website for more information about the instrument:
NeuroRehab Supplemental - Highly Recommended
Recommendations for Use: Indicated for studies requiring a measure for cognitive assessment that can be administered by phone.
Supplemental: Mitochondrial Disease (Mito) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Short Description of Instrument
The Brief Test of Adult Cognition by Telephone (BTACT) is a battery of measures developed by Margie Lachman, PhD of Brandeis University. The battery, which takes about 15-20 minutes to administer, includes measures of episodic memory, working memory, reasoning, executive functions, and speed of information processing. The BTACT was collected as a part of the MIDUS-II (Mid-Life in the United States) study, yielding a normative sample of 7,000 community dwellers aged 32-84.
The test should be completed by trained examiners and is administered by telephone.
Comments/Special Instructions
NeuroRehab Specific: This test is used as a modular phone assessment. It is widely used including in Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) and Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems (TBIMS). BTACT currently has one alternate form with others under review.
Scoring and Psychometric Properties
The TBIMS standard operating procedures for administration are located here:  
Psychometric properties have been established for persons with TBI of differing severities as well as aging adults. Studies have suggested that the BTACT can represent a unidimensional construct of cognition as well as a two factor model that is comprised of verbal episodic memory and other cognitive functions (Nelson et al, 2021; Gavett et al, 2013). Test-retest reliability using alternate forms is generally good, however Category Fluency tends to have less stable reliability coefficients suggesting differences between the forms that use animals vs. foods as the categories (Lachman et al, 2014).
Strengths: The brevity and administration by phone allows greater access to participants who may not otherwise be able or willing to participate in a longer and/or in-person assessment. The subtests were selected based on sensitivity to change as well as the range of abilities assessed: episodic memory, working memory, executive functioning, reasoning, and reaction time. The subtests are based on well-established neuropsychological measures and the BTACT itself has established psychometric properties. Performance by national samples are available for comparison.
Weaknesses: Visual and other non-verbal abilities cannot be assessed. The BTACT is not as comprehensive or reliable as an in-person neuropsychological evaluation.
Tun PA & Lachman ME. (2005). The Brief Test of Adult Cognition by Telephone (BTACT). Technical report, Brandeis University.
Tun PA, Lachman ME. Telephone assessment of cognitive function in adulthood: the Brief Test of Adult Cognition by Telephone. Age Ageing. 2006;35(6):629-632.
Lachman ME & Tun PA. (2008). Cognitive testing in large-scale surveys: Assessment by telephone. In D. Alwin & S. Hofer (Eds.), Handbook on cognitive aging: interdisciplinary perspectives (pp. 506-523). New York, NY: Sage.
DiBlasio CA, Sima A, Kumar RG, Kennedy RE, Retnam R, Lachman ME, Novack TA, Dams-O'Connor K. Research Letter: Performance of the Brief Test of Adult Cognition by Telephone in a National Sample. J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2021 Jul-Aug 01;36(4):E233-E239.
Gavett BE, Crane PK, Dams-O'Connor K. Bi-factor analyses of the Brief Test of Adult Cognition by Telephone. NeuroRehabilitation. 2013;32(2):253-265.
Lachman ME, Agrigoroaei S, Tun PA, Weaver SL. Monitoring cognitive functioning: psychometric properties of the brief test of adult cognition by telephone. Assessment. 2014;21(4):404-417.
Nelson LD, Barber JK, Temkin NR, Dams-O'Connor K, Dikmen S, Giacino JT, Kramer MD, Levin HS, McCrea MA, Whyte J, Bodien YG, Yue JK, Manley GT; British Neurosurgical Trainee Research Collaborative (BNTRC). Validity of the Brief Test of Adult Cognition by Telephone in Level 1 Trauma Center Patients Six Months Post-Traumatic Brain Injury: A TRACK-TBI Study. J Neurotrauma. 2021;38(8):1048-1059.
Document last updated January 2022