Assessing knowledge: psychometric properties of the BAMS semantic memory battery

Abstract Background: Semantic memory is a cultural influenced cognitive domain that is responsible for our knowledge about words and the world. Semantic Memory Battery (BAMS) is a new battery that evaluate semantic memory based on a compendium of tasks, including verbal fluency, naming, conceptualization, categorization, general questions, and word definitions, and was designed to consider cultural aspects. Objectives: We aimed to evaluate the BAMS psychometrics structure comprising classical and modern analysis, and also evaluate a clinical subdivision of the battery. Methods: 114 Brazilian cognitively healthy older adults BAMS performance provided data for psychometric analysis using validity tests, item response theory analysis and confirmatory factor analysis for goodness-of-fit measures. Results: BAMS results revealed good validity and good-fit measures in each subtest, total score (X2 = 20.684, p = 0.110) and a hierarchical structure with clinical subdivision of the battery (X2 = 20.089, p = 0.093). Discussion: BAMS is a new compendium of tasks that evaluate distinct aspects of semantic memory and can clinically consider the impact of executive function. This battery evaluates verbal fluency, naming, conceptualization, categorization, general knowledge and word definitions. The BAMS has clinical importance once semantic memory is mostly influenced by culture and language, and there is an absence of broadly semantic memory tests in our scenario, especially with older adults that can have a pathological aging condition that affects primarily or secondarily this domain.