Patterns of functioning in older adults with mild cognitive impairment: a two-year study focusing on everyday technology use
DOI: 10.1080/13607863.2013.777396
Title: Patterns of functioning in older adults with mild cognitive impairment: a two-year study focusing on everyday technology use
Journal Title: Aging & Mental Health
Volume: Volume 17
Issue: Issue 6
Publication Date: August 2013
Start Page: 679
End Page: 688
Published online: 23 Jul 2013
ISSN: 1360-7863
Author: Annicka Hedmana, Louise Nyg?rda, Ove Almkvistbc & Anders Kottorpa
Affiliations:
a Division of Occupational Therapy, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society , Karolinska Institutet , Huddinge , Sweden
b Division of Alzheimer Neurobiology Center, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society , Karolinska Institutet , Huddinge , Sweden
c Department of Psychology , Stockholm University , Stockholm , Sweden
Abstract: Objectives: Early detection is vital for persons with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) who are at risk of activity and participation limitations, and crosssectional studies suggest the ability to use everyday technology (ET) to be a sensible tool. However, group level analyses fail to inform us about how functioning can vary over time for individuals. This study aimed at exploring and describing Patterns of functioning over two years in a sample newly classified with MCI, with a special focus on perceived difficulty in ET use and involvement in everyday activities. In addition, cognitive functioning and conversion to dementia were studied. Method: 37 older adults (aged ≥ 55) with MCI were assessed at inclusion, and at 6, 12, and 24 months. Longitudinal case plots for the variables under study were analyzed based on strict criteria using a person-oriented approach. Paired t-tests from baseline and 24 months were also conducted to analyze change. Results: The 32 participants who remained in the study after two years showed three distinct Patterns of functioning over time: stable/ascending (n = 10), fluctuating (n = 10), and descending (n = 12), with the highest conversion to dementia in the descending pattern (58%). The perceived ability to use ET decreased or fluctuated in 50% of the sample. However, on a group level, a significant difference between baseline and 24 months was found only regarding cognitive function. Conclusion: As the need for support is individual and likely to alter over time, repeated evaluations of activity involvement and difficulty in ET use are suggested to target timely interventions for persons with MCI.
Accepted: 12 Feb 2013

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