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Rivermead Behavioural Memory Test - Third Edition
Rivermead Behavioural Memory Test - Third Edition

Rivermead Behavioural Memory Test - Third Edition

The original Rivermead Behavioural Memory Test (RBMT) was published in 1985 (Wilson, Cockburn, & Baddeley, 1985). It was designed to (a) predict everyday memory problems in people with acquired, non-progressive brain injury and (b) monitor change over time. 

The RBMT comprises tasks analogous to everyday situations that appear to be troublesome for memory impaired patients. Numerous studies since the publication of the RBMT have shown the clinical utility of this tool for different patient populations. 

In 1999 the Rivermead Behavioural Memory Test – Extended Version (RBMT-E) was published. This version was developed to create an instrument that could detect mild memory deficits. In order to enhance the test’s sensitivity the level of difficulty of the test was increased by doubling the amount of material to be remembered. 

Although the RBMT and the RBMT-E proved useful in the assessment of memory, some changes were required to increase the clinical effectiveness of these tests. 

In 2003 the RBMT-II was published. This was an update of materials but did not include further development of subtest items or restandardisation of the test. 

The new RBMT-3 was developed with the goal of updating the clinical applicability and utility of the tool. A number of changes were made to the tool to meet this goal. 

A larger normative sample has been collected than previous versions of the test

It was thought by the authors that some of the subtests in the currently used versions can prove to be a little too difficult (RBMT-E) or a little too easy (RBMT) for certain patients. The RBMT-3 sought to make adjustments in item difficulty to meet this need.

On the Face Recognition subtests of the original RBMT the ethnic diversity of the local population was not adequately represented. Therefore, the new version includes more pictures of people of African-Caribbean and Asian origin to ensure the test is appropriate for a multi-racial society such as the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

The stories used to assess a person’s ability to absorb verbal information have also been updated.

A new subtest – the Novel Task has been added. This novel task assesses the ability of a person to learn a new skill, an accomplishment critical for everyday functioning.

An intervention chapter has been added to improve the clinical utility of the tool.

Finally, given that the RBMT-E was published in 1999, a revision of the normative data is required. We stay close to the original structure of the RBMT as this has proved both valid and sensitive to everyday memory problems in people with brain injury. It is hoped that this new version of the RBMT will enhance its function as both a clinical and a research tool.


Alternate form reliability for each subtest was measured for Version 1 and Version 2 of the sample with the normative and clinical sample combined. Reliability coefficients ranged from 0.57 to 0.86. The reliability coefficient of the GMI was 0.87 for both Versions 1 and 2. 

With the exception of the Messages Delayed subtest the inter-scorer reliability for the RBMT-3 subtests were 0.9 or higher, indicating a high level of agreement between scorers. The lower level of agreement on the Messages Delayed subtest was attributable to only two of the 18 pairs who completed the inter-scorer study and is thought to be due to two examinees whose results were particularly difficult to score on this subtest.


The RBMT-3 demonstrated good construct and ecological validity (as supported by performance against the Prospective and Retrospective Memory Questionnaire; Smith et al., 2000). In assessing the clinical validity of the tool the results provided strong evidence of the sensitivity of the RBMT-3 to memory problems.


Sample Characteristics 

The core standardisation sample consisted of 333 people (172 females, 161 males) ranging in age from 16 to 89, with a mean age of 44.3 years (SD = 18.17). The extent to which the standardisation sample matched the general adult population was examined using data from the UK 2001 census. Chi-square goodness-of-fit tests revealed that the actual sample distribution of age, education, gender and ethnicity did not differ significantly from the expected census figures.

In addition to the core standardisation sample, a mixed clinical sample of participants with cerebral pathology was recruited (n=75). All clinical participants completed both versions of the RBMT-3. In order to examine possible score differences on the RBMT-3 for different types of clinical disorder, this sample contained participants from each of the following clinical categories: 

• Traumatic Brain Injury 
• Stroke 
• Encephalitis 
• Progressive conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease 

Generating norms for the RBMT-3 

Raw scores on the 14 RBMT-3 subtests are converted subtest scaled scores with a mean of 10 and a standard deviation of 3. Percentile ranks for scaled scores are also provided. Subtests take into account an individual’s age and data is reported for the following age bands: 

16-24 years of age 
25-34 years of age 
35-44 years of age 
45-54 years of age 
55-64 years of age 
65-74 years of age 
75-89 years of age

In addition to providing scaled scores for the RBMT-3 subtests, a General Memory Index (GMI), representing overall memory performance, was also created. This index is standardised to have a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15. GMI scores are calculated by summing the scaled scores on the RBMT-3 subtests and then converting this sum to a GMI using the appropriate conversion table. These conversion tables also report the confidence intervals and percentile ranks for each GMI.


RBMT-3 Complete Kit

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RBMT-3 Administration & Scoring Manual

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RBMT-3 Record Forms

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RBMT-3 Message Envelope

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RBMT-3 Stimulus Book 1

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RBMT-3 Stimulus Book 2

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RBMT-3 Novel Task Stimulus Material

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RBMT-3 Story Card

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RBMT-3 Alarm

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This product was added to our catalog on Monday 18 April, 2016.