Robert Fieo, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

The Taub Institute For Research On Alzheimer's Disease And The Aging Brain
630 West 168th Street
New York, NY 10032
Phone: 212-305-2046
Fax: 212-342-1838


My research to date has primarily focused on improving the precision and overall validity of self-report measures used in gerontology to assess health status in older adults. As compared to performance measures (e.g., grip strength or walk time) self-reported functional status has been criticized for its relatively weak face validity and sensitivity to change. However, modern test theory can be applied to self-report scales in an effort to make these criticisms less relevant.

Currently I'm investigating how stimulating leisure activities (one of several proxies for cognitive reserve) mediate the relationship between dementia and its clinical expression. Recent investigations into cognitive reserve posit a theoretical inflection point; to the left of this point reserve serves to delay the onset of cognitive decline in healthy older adults, and to the right an accelerated decline in function as a critical threshold is reached in which compensation is no longer tenable. My aim is to develop a more precise measure relating to one's level of involvement in cognitively stimulating activities, and to ultimately improve how we estimate the 'distance' to critical thresholds of cognitive reserve.

Representative Publications:

Fieo R, Mortensen EL, Lund R, Avlund K. Examining the construct validity of the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (MFI-20): Moving beyond classical measures of dimensionality. Assessment. 2014 (In Press).

Fieo R, Manly JJ, Schupf N, Stern Y. Functional status in the young-old: Establishing a working prototype of an Extended-Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale. Journals of Gerontology (A): Medical Sciences. 2013.

Brown PJ, Roose SP, Fieo R, Liu X, Rantanen T, Sneed JR, Rutherford BR, Devanand DP, Avlund K. Frailty and depression in older adults: A high-risk clinical population. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. 2013

O'Dell MW, Kim G, Rivera L, Fieo R, Christos P, Polistena C, Fitzgerald K, Gorga D. A psychometric evaluation of the Arm Motor Ability Test. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine. 2013; 45(6):519-27.

Fieo R, Mortensen EL, Rantanen T, Avlund K.Improving a measure of mobility-related fatigue (the Mob-T Scale) by establishing item intensity. Journal of the American Geriatric Society.2013; 61(3): 429-433.

Fieo R, Watson R, Starr JM, Deary, IJ. A revised ADL-IADL instrument increases interpretive power: Theoretical application for functional tasks exercise. Gerontology. 2010; 56(5):483-490

Watson R, van der Ark A, Lin LC, Fieo R, Deary IJ, Meijer RR. Item response theory: How Mokken scaling can be used in clinical practice. Journal of Clinical Nursing. 2011;21 (5).

Fieo R, Starr JM, Deary IJ. A Systematic Review: Confirming a hierarchy of functional decline in older adults. BMC Geriatrics. 2011;11: 42