Factor structure of the Behavioral Assessment Screening Tool (BAST) in traumatic brain injury

Shannon B Juengst, Lauren Terhorst, Amy K. Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective: Establish the factor structure of the Behavioral Assessment Screening Tool (BAST), a self-reported emotional/behavioral symptom measure for adults with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Setting: Community. Participants: Community-dwelling adults with moderate–severe TBI (n = 162; n = 110). Design: Assessment development (cohort study). Main measures: Behavioral Assessment Screening Tool. Results: The original BAST included 61 items (55 primary, six secondary), an Environmental Context checklist including recent major life events, and three open-ended questions about other relevant factors. Two rounds of pilot testing and exploratory factor analysis of the BAST (n = 162; n = 110) reduced the total items to 37 primary items and six secondary coping items. The final BAST had a five-factor solution with communalities ranging from 0.323 to 0.771. Internal consistency reliabilities ranged from acceptable to excellent for all factors (Cronbach’s α = 0.76–0.90). The items related to coping, given only to those endorsing stress, had a two-factor solution with communalities ranging from 0.224 to 0.605, but demonstrated acceptable to poor internal consistency (Cronbach’s α = 0.46–0.68). Participants rated ease of use and overall satisfaction with completing the scale as high, with mean scores of 6.42 and 6.22 out of 7, respectively. Conclusions: The BAST, a measure of behavioral and emotional symptoms after TBI, has a multidimensional factor structure with evidence of good internal consistency reliability. Future work will evaluate the convergent, discriminant, and discriminative validity of the BAST and employ item response theory analyses to further develop a short version for mobile health assessment.Implications for Rehabilitation Long-term monitoring of behavioral and emotional symptoms after traumatic brain injury could improve clinical management and reduce negative participation and quality of life outcomes. The Behavioral Assessment Screening Tool demonstrates reliability for use among adults with chronic traumatic brain injury, through its factor structure and internal consistency reliabilities, to measure chronic behavioral and emotional symptoms. The Behavioral Assessment Screening Tool is a screening tool to identify potential behavioral and emotional problems that individuals with chronic traumatic brain injury may be experiencing; it could be implemented in a proactive, rather than reactive, system for long-term monitoring of these symptoms to improve early identification of clinical disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-260
Number of pages6
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 16 2020


  • Traumatic brain injury
  • behavior
  • emotions
  • measurement
  • psychometrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation


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