The psychometric validation of a subjective Memory Complaints Inventory for the epilepsy population

Chaim Siegel, Fordham University


The purpose of this study was to investigate the psychometric properties of the Memory Complaints Inventory – Epilepsy version, a subjective memory questionnaire (Barr et al., 2003), that was adapted for use in the epilepsy population. A principal component analysis using oblique rotation (N = 211) was performed to evaluate construct validity in the instrument. Eight components were identified, accounting for 56.87% of the variance. The components were named: General Memory, Amnesia/Dissociation, Illness, Remote Memory, Extreme Items/Validity, Amnestic Dyscontrol/Aggression, Numeric and Spatial Impairment, and Amnesia/Dissociation II. Contrary to expectations, distinct verbal and visuospatial components were not identified. Discriminant validity was evaluated through comparison of subgroups of patients with right temporal lobe (N = 47) and left temporal lobe ( N = 78) epilepsy. Thirteen individual MCI-E items selected for verbal or visuospatial material specificity were used to evaluate lateralization effects. No significant lateralization effect was identified with these MCI-E items. Additional analyses of the General Memory component also failed to show lateralization effects. Thus, evidence for discriminant validity was not obtained in this study. Convergent validity was examined through correlational analysis of the material-specific MCI-E items and objective tests of verbal memory (the California Verbal Learning Test Total score and Long Delayed Recall score), visuospatial memory (the Rey-Osterrieth Long Delayed Recall score) and word- naming (the Boston Naming Test Total score). Of the thirteen selected MCI-E items, two items showed significant small correlations in the appropriate direction. When affect was controlled by partialling out Beck Depression Inventory and Beck Anxiety Inventory scores, significant small correlations were found between additional MCI-E items and the objective word finding measure, but in the direction opposite to expectations. Thus, minimal evidence for convergent validity for some individual MCI-E items was obtained. In summary, the factor structure of the MCI-E suggests that the MCI-E actually measures constructs other than "every-day memory" including extreme cases of dissociation and amnesia. Future research may focus on study of the memory relevant items of the MCI-E. Evidence was not obtained for discriminant validity and was minimal for convergent validity. It was recognized that lack of evidence may be in part due to methodological issues.

Subject Area

Psychobiology|Clinical psychology|Quantitative psychology

Recommended Citation

Siegel, Chaim, "The psychometric validation of a subjective Memory Complaints Inventory for the epilepsy population" (2011). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3452803.