DOI: 10.1002/trc2.12418 ISSN:

The development of the Cognitive Assessment for Tagalog Speakers (CATS): A culturally and linguistically tailored test battery for Filipino Americans

Jessica de Leon, Ivan Bondoc, Eugenie Mamuyac, Lainie Posecion, Eduardo Europa, Lolita C. Kintanar, Niecholle Roco, Mikkael Lamoca, Danielle P. Escueta, Van M. Ta Park
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neurology (clinical)



Filipino Americans are one of the largest Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) populations in the United States (US). Previous studies suggest that Filipino Americans have one of the highest incidence rates of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD) among AAPI subgroups. Despite the expected increase in Filipino Americans with ADRD, no studies to‐date have validated neuropsychological measures in the United States for speakers of Tagalog, a major language spoken by Filipino Americans. A significant barrier to dementia care and diagnosis is the lack of linguistically and socioculturally appropriate cognitive tasks for Tagalog speakers. To address this need, we developed and piloted the Cognitive Assessment for Tagalog Speakers (CATS), the first neuropsychological battery for the detection of ADRD in Filipino American Tagalog speakers.


Based on evidence‐based neuropsychological batteries, we adapted and constructed de novo tasks to measure performance across 4 main cognitive domains: visual/verbal memory, visuospatial functioning, speech and language, and frontal/executive functioning. Tasks were developed with a team of bilingual English/Tagalog, bicultural Filipino American/Canadian experts, including a neurologist, speech‐language pathologist, linguist, and neuropsychologist. We recruited Tagalog‐speaking participants of age 50+ through social media advertisements and recruitment registries for this cross‐sectional study. We present the CATS design and protocol.


To‐date, the CATS battery has been administered to 26 healthy control participants (age 64.5 ± 7.8 years, 18F/8 M) at an academic institution in Northern California, United States. The development and administration of the CATS battery demonstrated its feasibility but also highlighted the need to consider the effects of bilingualism, language typology, and cultural factors in result interpretation.


The CATS battery provides a mechanism for cognitive assessment of Filipino Americans, a population that has been underrepresented in ADRD research. As we move toward the treatment and cure of ADRD, linguistically and socioculturally appropriate cognitive tests become even more important for equitable care.

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