The utility of the Cognitive Reserve Index questionnaire in chronic traumatic brain injury

Amber Ayton, Amelia J. Hicks, Gershon Spitz, Jennie Ponsford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Objective: This study examined the relationship between cognitive reserve measured with the Cognitive Reserve Index questionnaire (CRIq) and cognitive and functional outcomes in a chronic traumatic brain injury (TBI) cohort compared to a non-TBI cohort. The utility of the CRIq was compared to common proxies of cognitive reserve (premorbid IQ and years of education) in TBI and non-TBI cohorts. Method: Participants were 105 individuals with moderate-severe TBI (10–33 years post injury) and 91 participants without TBI. Cognitive outcome was examined across four cognitive factors; verbal memory, visual ability and memory, executive attention, and episodic memory. Functional outcome was measured using the Glasgow Outcome Scale Extended. The CRIq total score and three subscale scores (education, work, leisure) were examined. Results: In the TBI cohort, associations were identified between two CRIq subscales and cognitive factors (CRIq education and verbal memory; CRIq work and executive attention). There were no associations between CRIq leisure and cognitive outcomes, or between CRIq and functional outcome. Model selection statistics suggested premorbid IQ and years of education provided a better fit than the CRIq for the relationship between cognitive reserve with two cognitive factors and functional outcome, with neither model providing an improved fit for the remaining two cognitive factors. This finding was broadly consistent in the non-TBI cohort. Conclusion: Cognitive reserve contributes significantly to long-term clinical outcomes following moderate-severe TBI. The relationship between cognitive reserve and long-term cognitive and functional outcomes following TBI is best characterised with traditional proxies of cognitive reserve, mainly premorbid IQ, rather than the CRIq.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-201
Number of pages20
JournalClinical Neuropsychologist
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2024


  • chronic outcomes
  • cognitive outcomes
  • Cognitive reserve
  • Cognitive Reserve Index questionnaire
  • traumatic brain injury

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