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The relationship between functional status and judgment/problem solving among individuals with dementia




To determine the relationship between functional status (independent activities of daily living) and judgment/problem solving and the extent to which select demographic characteristics such as dementia subtype and cognitive measures may moderate that relationship in older adult individuals with dementia.


The National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center Universal Data Set was accessed for a study sample of 3,855 individuals diagnosed with dementia. Primary variables included functional status, judgment/problem solving, and cognition.


Functional status was related to judgment/problem solving (r = 0.66; p < 0.0005). Functional status and cognition jointly predicted 56% of the variance in judgment/problem solving (R2 = 0.56, p < 0.0005). As cognition decreases, the prediction of poorer judgment/problem solving by functional status became stronger.


Among individuals with a diagnosis of dementia, declining functional status as well as declining cognition should raise concerns about judgment/problem solving. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.