The Oxford Digital Multiple Errands Test (OxMET) is a free and easy to administer broad cognitive screen for the effects of executive dysfunction, that is, difficulties in complex mental abilities. The tool has been standardised, normed, and validated in healthy aging and chronic stroke (6-month post-stroke) groups, with analysis of validity in subacute stroke (<3 months post stroke) underway. The tool contains just one test involving a shopping scenario, with instructions for the test presented verbally, visually, and in an easy to comprehend manner. The tool is not for self-assessment. Instead, a health professional assessor administers the screen to respondents to investigate potential difficulties in executive functions that relate to real life behaviours.
See how to register to activate the app here
The OxMET is based upon the original Multiple Errands Test developed by Professor Tim Shallice and Professor Paul Burgess in in 1991. It aims to detect difficulties in executive functions which are otherwise missed on more traditional and abstract cognitive assessments. The original MET, and subsequent revisions and versions, involving taking clients either out to run errands in a specific setting (shopping centre, hospitals, universities, in the home etc). Due to examining clients accurately and in a naturalistic setting, the MET is hailed as an exceptional assessment of executive functioning, giving health professionals paramount insight into the real life behaviours of their clients.
However, the MET requires high physical mobility/abilities of the respondents and time and safety costs regarding set up, transport, and safeguarding in these settings. The MET often excludes those who have low independence and rely on others to complete activities of daily living and who have different speech and language requirements. This means the MET is not an appropriate assessment for use in hospitals with many stroke survivors who may have motor and speech/communication difficulties.
We designed the OxMET to bring this exceptional assessment tool to the masses through a platform independent computer tablet application. Our app doesn’t require much physical ability from the client, only the ability to tap the screen where required or to indicate their selection for the health professional to tap for them. We have included visual, verbal, and written aids to ensure it is as inclusive as possible while remaining complex enough to bring out difficulties in complex mental abilities. The OxMET can be run quickly in acute hospital settings, and is currently undergoing feasibility assessments to support this.
Sam S. Webb, Anders Jespersen, Evangeline G. Chiu, Francesca Payne, Romina Basting, Mihaela D. Duta & Nele Demeyere (2021) The Oxford digital multiple errands test (OxMET): Validation of a simplified computer tablet based multiple errands test, Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, DOI: 10.1080/09602011.2020.1862679