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The assessment of everyday functioning in dementia is currently very global and in most cases fails to provide an in-depth overview of specific areas of deficits. Every activity comprises different sub-tasks which may be impaired to different degrees. Performance of some sub-tasks might be maintained and could thus be the foundation for remaining independent for longer. Thus, the objective of this study was to explore the benefits of breaking down everyday activities into sub-tasks.
A total of 183 family carers of people with mild dementia completed the revised Interview for Deteriorations in Daily Living Activities in Dementia 2 (R-IDDD2) rating their relative's everyday functioning. Each of the 20 activities comprised three sub-tasks. Data were analyzed using ANOVA with Bonferroni corrections, and sub-tasks were clustered in relation to different forms of cognition.
The majority of activities showed at least one major area of impairment. Sub-tasks could be clustered based on different types of cognition. Several sub-tasks had a focus on memory (forgetting it is time to do the cleaning; forgetting previously known telephone numbers), whereby short-term, long-term, and prospective memory could be distinguished further. Other sub-tasks were clustered into attention (getting more distracted when driving) and executive function (sorting out bills).
The R-IDDD2 and its analysis of sub-task performance offers a novel platform to examine impairments comprehensively. This can help both in aiding timelier diagnosis by recognizing subtle deficits, but also in care management planning, whereby family and paid carers should only care for those sub-tasks that are most impaired and thus encourage remaining independent for longer.
Minimal evidence exists on the detailed deficits in complex instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) in mild dementia. The aim of this study was twofold, to validate a revised questionnaire focusing measuring the initiative and performance of IADLs in mild dementia and to explore the relationship between individual IADLs and patient and carer well-being.
A total of 183 carers of people with mild dementia completed a further modified Revised Interview for Deterioration in Daily Living Activities 2 (R-IDDD2), which comprised new activities such as computer use, as well as sub-activities on the performance scale. Carers also completed questionnaires assessing patient quality of life (QoL-AD), carer quality of life (AC-QoL), and burden (GHQ-12).
Persons with dementia were significantly poorer initiating than performing cleaning, doing repair work, and preparing a hot or cold meal, whereas being poorer at performing dressing and following current affairs. Using the computer, preparing a hot meal, finance, and medication management were most impaired, whereas more basic activities of dressing, washing oneself, brushing hair or teeth, and preparing a hot drink were most preserved. Poor initiative and performance on nearly all activities were significantly related to reduced carer and patient well-being.
The R-IDDD2 offers a platform to comprehensively assess everyday functioning. Deteriorations in initiative and performance need to be targeted separately in interventions, as the former requires effective triggering and the latter structured training and support. Most activities were significantly associated with well-being, particularly patient quality of life so that improving any activity should improve well-being.
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