Objective and subjective memory impairment in elderly adults: A revised version of the everyday memory questionnaire

Marco Calabria, Rosa Manenti, Sandra Rosini, Orazio Zanetti, Carlo Miniussi, Maria Cotelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and aims: Growing interest in understanding the relationship between subjective memory complaints (SMCs) and objective measures of memory abilities emphasizes the importance of SMC assessment for diagnostic purposes. The present study investigated the relationship between SMCs and objective memory deficits in elderly adults by analysis of the factor structure of the Everyday Memory Questionnaire (EMQ). Methods: Objective and subjective assessment of memory function was carried out in 112 elderly adults. Principal component analysis was then performed to study the factor structure of the EMQ in relation to the assessment. Results: Objective memory impairment was evident in 8.9% of elderly adults. The factor analysis showed that the most interpretable solution to detect objective changes with the EMQ comprised only 20 out of 28 items of the original list, with three factors explaining 48% of total variance. This version was more sensitive for detecting SMCs in elderly adults, since one out of the three factors was able to differentiate subjects with objective memory deficits from those without. Conclusion: Taken together, these results illustrate that this 20-item version of the revised EMQ may serve as an easy-to-use instrument during clinical screening, to evaluate objective memory impairment in individuals who report SMC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-73
Number of pages7
JournalAging clinical and experimental research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011


  • Aging
  • Everyday memory questionnaire
  • Memory deficits
  • Subjective memory complaints

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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