Sep
10
2010

  Cognitive Aging Study Got Lame!

I participated in UVA's big cognitive aging study back when it first started ten years ago. It's a time-suck of a study, it requires three visits of two hours each. But after they analyzed my data last time, they sent me a report showing my "cognitive age" relative to other study participants, and I thought it was interesting.

I had lost touch with the study over the years when we were moving around a lot, but saw an ad for them recently, and called them up. Today was the first meeting of the new set I'll be doing. At the end, if they asked if I had any questions, I asked if they would put both my sets of scores (from ten years ago, and from today) on my report. The girl said they don't send out personal reports any more!

Some la-di-da about how they're not really sure if they're measuring cognitive age, how certain tests are proven but they should be administered and interpreted by medical professionals, blah, blah, blah. That's @#$# ridiculous. Why weren't any of these things issues ten years ago? What has changed in the past ten years that they could send out personal reports then, but can't now? I'm going to see if I can talk to the professor in charge of this study, and get my personal report anyway. Or else I'll see if I can dig up my old report, and when I take the tests at my next meeting, I'll take the time to self-grade them after each one, and write down the score, so I can manually compare how I am doing now compared to before.

If the problem is that they don't have the funding to prepare individual reports for the study participants, then they should just say, "we no longer have the funding for that" instead of all these other squishy excuses. Or "we no longer send out personal reports since they were inaccurate, and caused pain and suffering for the participants who had a poor cognitive age result," or whatever. I just wasn't buying the explanation the 22-year-old study chick was selling. Meh. I'll have to talk to an adult, to get to a satisfactory explanation.