Advanced Psychometrics Methods Workshop
June 9-June 14, 2014

Applications have been reviewed, and notifications were sent out on March 17, 2014. If you applied and have not heard from us please email Dan Mungas (dmmungas@ucdavis.edu).

Measurement, Methods and Mechanisms in Randomized Controlled Trials: The ACTIVE Study

2014 Conference Overview

The 11th annual conference on the application of modern psychometric methods to measurement issues in cognitive aging research will be held June 9-June 14, 2014 at the University of Washington's Friday Harbor Laboratories in the San Juan Islands, WA.

The Advanced Psychometric Methods Workshop at Friday Harbor Laboratories is an NIH/NIA-funded conference that provides didactic and applied research experiences (work groups) that support the development of expertise to advance science in the area of cognitive aging.

This spring (June 9-14, 2014), the workshop will explore measurement, methods, mechanisms, and other critical inference issues for intervention studies using data from the Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE) cognitive intervention study (1998-2010). Workgroups will address how modern data analysis methods can lead to improved power, precision, and reduction of bias in the evaluation of clinical trials.

Participation in the FHL Advanced Psychometric Methods Workshop is by invitation and by competitive application. Space limits the number of participants. Participants are encouraged from all levels (graduate students, post-docs, junior faculty, mid and senior faculty). Expertise in psychometrics, statistics, or other quantitative sciences is not a prerequisite, but a commitment to cognitive aging research is.

Conference Description

The 2014 meeting will be chaired by Richard Jones and Alden Gross, and several investigators from the ACTIVE study will be present to represent the study and participate in workgroups. The focus of this meeting will be on improving measurement and reducing bias in outcome measures for intervention studies to ultimately improve ability to develop interventions to maintain cognitive health.

Data will come from the ACTIVE (Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly, 1998-2010) study. ACTIVE is the largest randomized controlled trial of a behavioral cognitive improvement intervention among older adults. Approximately 2,800 persons were randomly assigned to one of four arms, three active treatments and one no-contact control. The cohort was followed at 12 weeks and 1, 2, 3, 5 and 10 years after baseline, randomization and treatment. Results from the 10 follow-up were recently published and showed evidence of maintenance of treatment effects over this extended period of follow-up. Workgroups at this meeting will analyze public use data archived at NACDA/ICPSR.

As in the previous conferences, the workshop will be organized around workgroups that will perform analyses related to scientific manuscripts. Our goal will be to substantially complete analyses during the week and then organize the workgroups for further interactions to complete the manuscripts. Workgroups and plans for data analysis will be further developed as the meeting approaches. We welcome ideas from applicants about scientific and analytic goals for workgroups for this meeting.

2014 Conference Participants

This will be a relatively small but intense conference that will include about 50 participants. In addition to invited speakers and scientific leaders, there will be a competitive application process. We seek diversity in substantive and methodological expertise of participants so that the conference promotes learning for all participants and establishes an informal network that will enhance research on cognitive changes associated with aging. Training of early career investigators is an important goal and we encourage applications from promising graduate students, postdoctoral trainees, and junior faculty who are developing research programs. Senior scientists who are interested in developing new research skills also are welcomed.

This conference is supported by a conference grant from the National Institute on Aging (R13 AG030995) that began in 2008 and extends through 2017. We will be able to provide full support for travel, lodging, meals and conference fees for many attendees. We may be able to consider additional attendees who will need to provide their own funding. Anticipated costs for professionals (including lodging, meals, conference and facility fees) are about $700, and for undergraduate and graduate students are about $500. These cost estimates do not include the expense of travel to and from Seattle.

Applications for 2014

We are now accepting applications for the 2014 meeting. We are particularly interested in individuals who will learn new skills that will be incorporated into their future research. In previous years we have had an increasingly competitive pool of applicants, and due to limited space, we were unable to include many talented applicants who in our view would have made important contributions to the Workshop. Applications will be due by February 14, 2014, and notification of acceptance will occur by March 17, 2014. Please contact Elizabeth Sanders (elizsand@uw.edu) if you have questions about the application process.

Friday Harbor Laboratories

The Friday Harbor Laboratories are located on San Juan Island, part of an archipelago that lies between the mainland and Vancouver Island. The 484-acre tract of land on which the Laboratories are situated, and the marine waters of the region in general, are biological preserves. We will stay in the dorm rooms (or in hotels in town) and eat in the rustic dining hall at the harbor shore. Extra-curricular activities on the island include walks/runs on the trails that weave through the forests on the island, whale watching, kayaking, and beach combing. The Friday Harbor facilities are spartan; lodging is in simple dormitory rooms with shared bathroom facilities, and while the food is excellent, dining is cafeteria style. This is not a resort, but the setting is beautiful and very conducive to informal and productive interaction. The town of Friday Harbor may be reached by scheduled air service from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, scheduled seaplane service from downtown Seattle, and by Washington State Ferries from Anacortes, about 70 miles north of Seattle. We will provide transportation from the Seattle airport to Friday Harbor via vans and ferries for conference participants.

We hope to see you in Friday Harbor this spring!

Psychometric Workshop Program Committee,

Paul K Crane MD, MPH, University of Washington
Laura Gibbons PhD, University of Washington
M. Maria Glymour, SD, University of California, San Francisco
Alden Gross, PhD, Johns Hopkins University
Richard N. Jones ScD, Brown University
Jennifer Manly PhD, Columbia University
Dan Mungas PhD, University of California, Davis

Contacts

If you have questions, please contact Richard Jones (richard_jones@brown.edu) or Dan Mungas (dmmungas@ucdavis.edu).

Mission Statement

The overall mission of the “Advanced Psychometric Methods for Cognitive Aging Research” conference series is to promote the use of state of the art psychometric and related data analytic methods in cognitive aging research. Specific objectives are:

1) expose developing and established researchers in cognitive aging to modern psychometric techniques

2) expose experts in psychometric theory and methods to the practical and theoretical concerns of cognitive aging research

3) encourage collaborative research and production of manuscripts based on the interactions of researchers, psychometricians, and statisticians during these conferences.

Conference participants will have diverse backgrounds in terms of level of training, experience, areas of expertise, gender and ethnicity. Each conference will be organized around an existing dataset from studies that have been highly influential in cognitive aging research. Each meeting will include didactic training on advanced psychometric and statistical methods relevant to these studies, and a major part of the program will be devoted to data analyses that address specific scientific hypotheses relevant to the parent studies. Workgroups will continue to interact after the conference to follow these analyses to completion of scientific manuscripts.

Didactic training will address basics of item response theory, latent variable modeling, and other data analytic methods relevant to the studies and data sets being used. More in depth mentored experience in using these methods will be provided during the workgroups. Diversity in substantive and methodological expertise of participants will be emphasized so that the conference promotes learning for all participants and establishes an informal network to enhance research on cognitive changes associated with aging.