The utility of regression-based norms in interpreting the minimal assessment of cognitive function in multiple sclerosis (MACFIMS).

J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2010 Jan;16(1):6-16. doi: 10.1017/S1355617709990750. Epub 2009 Oct 2.

Parmenter BA, Testa SM, Schretlen DJ, Weinstock-Guttman B, Benedict RH.


Department of Psychology, Western State Hospital, Tacoma, Washington, USA.


The Minimal Assessment of Cognitive Function in Multiple Sclerosis (MACFIMS) is a consensus neuropsychological battery with established reliability and validity. One of the difficulties in implementing the MACFIMS in clinical settings is the reliance on manualized norms from disparate sources. In this study, we derived regression-based norms for the MACFIMS, using a unique data set to control for standard demographic variables (i.e., age, age2, sex, education). Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients (n = 395) and healthy volunteers (n = 100) did not differ in age, level of education, sex, or race. Multiple regression analyses were conducted on the performance of the healthy adults, and the resulting models were used to predict MS performance on the MACFIMS battery. This regression-based approach identified higher rates of impairment than manualized norms for many of the MACFIMS measures. These findings suggest that there are advantages to developing new norms from a single sample using the regression-based approach. We conclude that the regression-based norms presented here provide a valid alternative to identifying cognitive impairment as measured by the MACFIMS.