The Western Australia Olfactory Memory Test: Reliability and Validity in a Sample of Older Adults

Rasangi Seneviratne, Michael Weinborn, David R. Badcock, Brandon E. Gavett, Manuela Laws, Kevin Taddei, Ralph N. Martins, Hamid R. Sohrabi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective The Western Australia Olfactory Memory Test (WAOMT) is a newly developed test designed to meet a need for a comprehensive measure of olfactory episodic memory (OEM) for clinical and research applications. Method This study aimed to establish the psychometric properties of the WAOMT in a sample of 209 community-dwelling older adults. An independent sample of 27 test-naive participants were recruited to assess test retest reliability (between 7 and 28 days). Scale psychometric properties were examined using item response theory methods, combined samples (final N = 241). Convergent validity was assessed by comparing performance on the WAOMT with a comprehensive neuropsychological battery of domains (verbal and visual episodic memory, and odor identification), as well as other neuropsychological skills. Based on previous literature, it was predicted that the WAOMT would be positively correlated with conceptually similar cognitive domains. Results The WAOMT is a psychometrically sound test with adequate reliability properties and demonstrated convergent validity with tests of verbal and episodic memory and smell identification. Patterns of performance highlight learning and memory characteristics unique to OEM (e.g., learning curves, cued and free recall). Conclusion Clinical and research implications include streamlining future versions of the WAOMT to ease patient and administrative burden, and the potential to reliably detect early neuropathological changes in healthy older adults with nonimpaired OEM abilities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1720-1734
Number of pages15
JournalArchives of Clinical Neuropsychology
Issue number8
Early online date24 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022


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