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Declines in financial capacity in later life may arise from both neurocognitive and/or psychiatric disorders. The influence of socio-demographic, cognitive, health, and psychiatric variables on financial capacity performance was explored.
Seventy-six healthy community-dwelling adults and 25 older patients referred for assessment of financial capacity were assessed on pertinent cognitive, psychiatric, and financial capacity measures, including Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination – Revised (ACE-R), Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (IQCODE), Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), Geriatric Anxiety Inventory (GAI), selected Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) items, Financial Competence Assessment Inventory (FCAI), and Social Vulnerability Scale (SVS).
The internal consistency of the debt management subscale of the FCAI was relatively poor in our sample. Financial capacity performance differed between controls and patients. In our sample, performance on the FCAI was predicted by Mini-Mental State Examination, IQCODE, and GAI, but not by ACE-R, GDS, NPI items, or SVS (adjusted R2 = 0.7059).
Anxiety but not depression predicted financial capacity performance, possibly reflecting relatively low variance of depressive symptoms in this sample. Current cognitive decline as measured by the informant-rated IQCODE was more highly correlated to financial capacity than either educational attainment or ACE-R scores. Lack of significance of ACE-R data may reflect the instrument's decreased sensitivity to domains relevant to financial capacity, compared with more detailed neuropsychological assessment tools. The FCAI displayed fairly robust psychometric properties apart from the debt management subscale.
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