Word list memory predicts everyday function and problem-solving in the elderly: Results from the ACTIVE cognitive intervention trial

Alden L. Gross, George W. Rebok, Frederick W. Unverzagt, Sherry L. Willis, Jason Brandt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations


Data from the Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE) trial (N = 2,802) were analyzed to examine whether word list learning predicts future everyday functioning. Using stepwise random effects modeling, measures from the modified administrations of the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test (HVLT) and the Auditory Verbal Learning Test (AVLT) were independently predictive of everyday IADL functioning, problem-solving, and psychomotor speed. Associations between memory scores and everyday functioning outcomes remained significant across follow-up intervals spanning 5 years. HVLT total recall score was consistently the strongest predictor of each functional outcome. Results suggest that verbal memory measures are uniquely associated with both current and future functioning and that specific verbal memory tests like the HVLT and AVLT have important clinical utility in predicting future functional ability among older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-146
Number of pages18
JournalAging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2011



  • AVLT
  • Functional ability
  • HVLT
  • Verbal memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Medicine(all)

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