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16 Does Cognitive Test Performance Upon Admission to Nursing Homes Predict Long Term Care Residents’ Psychological Functioning?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 December 2023

Emilee M Ertle*
University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, USA
Benjamin T Mast
University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, USA
Darby M Simon
University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, USA
Suzanne Meeks
University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, USA
Correspondence: Emilee Ertle, University of Louisville,
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The current study investigated whether older adults’ cognitive test scores at the time of long-term care nursing home admission are associated with psychological well-being over the first six months. We analyzed the link between Mattis Dementia Rating Scale (DRS-2) subscale scores and anxiety, depression, quality of life, and positive/negative affect.

Participants and Methods:

Participants were recently admitted long-term care residents from 13 nursing homes in the Louisville, KY area. Sixty-two older adults were administered the DRS-2 shortly after nursing home admission. Using a cutoff of less than 6 scaled score on the DRS-2, 52% of participants scored as cognitively impaired. Self-report measures of anxiety (RAID), depression (PHQ9), quality of life (QoL-AD), and positive/negative affect (Philadelphia Geriatric Center Affect Rating Scale) were collected at time of admission, and 3 and 6 months later.


The DRS-2 attention subscale significantly correlated with baseline depression symptoms. No other DRS-2 subscale or the DRS-2 total score correlated with anxiety, depression, quality of life, or affect ratings at admission. Baseline DRS-2 attention, initiation/perseveration, and memory had significant correlations with self-report measures at 3 and 6 months; these DRS-2 scores were selected for further analysis. Mixed ANOVAs found a significant main effect of group (impaired vs. not-impaired) for the initiation/perseveration subscale, memory subscale, and DRS-2 total score on negative affect; impairment in any of these domains was associated with lower reported negative affect at all three time points. There was no significant effect of cognitive scores on any other self-report measure. There was a significant, positive linear trend in quality of life over time. There was a significant quadratic trend in depression symptoms, with decreased depression reported at 3 months and increase at 6 months.


Impaired performance on the DRS-2 was associated with lower negative affect over time. Cognitive impairment was not associated with anxiety, depression, quality of life, or positive affect. There appear to be reliable trends in some psychological factors regardless of cognitive scores, with an increase in quality of life over time and a temporary decrease in reported depression captured at 3 months. The relationship between cognitive impairment and negative affect should be interpreted with caution, as only 22 residents completed the affect self-report at all three time points. Overall, we found limited evidence of an association between cognitive scores at time of admission and self-reported psychological factors at 3 and 6 months.

Poster Session 04: Aging | MCI
Copyright © INS. Published by Cambridge University Press, 2023