The association between the behavior rating inventory of executive functioning and cognitive testing in children diagnosed with a brain tumor

M. de Vries, M. A. de Ruiter*, K. J. Oostrom, A. Y.N. Schouten-Van Meeteren, H. Maurice-Stam, J. Oosterlaan, M. A. Grootenhuis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Pediatric brain tumor survivors (PBTS) suffer from cognitive late effects, such as deteriorating executive functioning (EF). We explored the suitability of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) to screen for these late effects. We assessed the relationship between the BRIEF and EF tasks, and between the BRIEF-Parent and BRIEF-Teacher, and we explored the clinical utility. Eighty-two PBTS (8–18 years) were assessed with EF tasks measuring attention, cognitive flexibility, inhibition, visual-, and working memory (WM), and with the BRIEF-Parent and BRIEF-Teacher. Pearson’s correlations between the BRIEF and EF tasks, and between the BRIEF-Parent and BRIEF-Teacher were calculated. The BRIEF-Parent related poorly to EF tasks (rs <.26, ps >.01), but of the BRIEF-Teacher the WM-scale, Monitor-scale, Behavioral-Regulation-Index, and Meta-cognition-Index, and Total-score (rs >.31, ps <.01) related significantly to some EF tasks. When controlling for age, only the WM scale and Total score related significantly to the attention task (ps <.01). The inhibit scales of the BRIEF-Parent and BRIEF-Teacher correlated significantly (r =.33, p <.01). Children with clinically elevated scores on BRIEF scales that correlated with EF tasks performed worse on all EF tasks (ds 0.56–1.23, ps <.05). The BRIEF-Teacher Total and Index scores might better screen general EF in PBTS than the BRIEF-Parent. However, the BRIEF-Teacher is also not specific enough to capture separate EFs. Solely relying on the BRIEF as a screening measure of EFs in BPTS is insufficient. Questionnaires and tasks give distinctive, valuable information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)844-858
Number of pages15
JournalChild Neuropsychology
Volume24
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2018

Funding

This work was supported by the Dutch Cancer Society KWF Kankerbestrijding under grant number UVA 2008-4013; and the Tom Voûte Fund, Part of the Dutch Children Cancer Free Foundation, (KiKa) under grant number SKK-PRISMA. Research was conducted in the Psychosocial Department of Emma Children’s Hospital AMC, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The authors would like to thank Juliette Greidanus, Zeliha Pekcan, Leontine Stolk, Dora Csermak, Arnout Smit, and Sander Schippers for their contribution to the data collection for the study. Finally, we wish to thank all participating parents and patients for their cooperation.

FundersFunder number
Dutch Cancer Society KWF KankerbestrijdingUVA 2008-4013
Dutch Children Cancer Free Foundation
SKK-PRISMA

    Keywords

    • cognitive screening
    • executive functions
    • Pediatric brain tumor survivors

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