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Studies of frailty have tended to focus on adverse outcomes. This study aims to develop a short instrument that identifies a positive outcome, namely, the level of well-being in older adults at risk of frailty.
871 older adults (49.4% women; mean age 75.72 years; SD = 8.05) with a frailty risk profile participated in the first wave of the D-SCOPE study. The possible domains of well-being were identified using a bottom-up approach. Exploratory Structural Equation Modeling (ESEM) and multidimensional Item Response Theory (IRT) analysis of 17 items in 4 domains measuring well-being was performed on a calibration sample (n = 435) to develop the instrument. The instrument was subsequently corroborated by confirmatory factor analysis and convergent/divergent relations with relevant external measures in a validation sample (n = 436).
The ESEM three-factor solution, with the subdimensions of sense of mastery, meaning in life, and life satisfaction, displayed good fit to the data (RMSEA = 0.070). For each dimension, the three best discriminating items were retained for the instrument following IRT analysis. Internal consistency of these dimensions was good in the validation sample (sense of mastery α = 0.864, meaning in life α = 0.715, and life satisfaction α = 0.782). The confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) three-factor model also showed good fit to the data (RMSEA = 0.064). Small to large zero-order correlations with the external measures were as expected.
Using a bottom-up approach, this study developed a short instrument to identify levels of well-being in vulnerable or frail older adults. The instrument can be applied in primary care and prevention programs.
Depressive symptoms are common in amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI). The association between depressive symptoms and conversion to dementia is not yet clear. This longitudinal study was conducted to ascertain whether depressive symptoms in aMCI patients are predictive of conversion to dementia.
35 aMCI patients participated in this study. All participants underwent cognitive testing and were administered the geriatric depression scale (GDS) to determine the presence of depressive symptoms. A score equaling or higher than 11 on the GDS was taken as the cut-off point for presence of significant depressive symptoms. Conversion to dementia was assessed at follow-up visits after 1.5, 4, and 10 years.
31.4% of the patients reported depressive symptoms at baseline. None of the cognitive measures revealed a significant difference at baseline between patients with and without depressive symptoms. After 1.5, 4, and 10 years respectively 6, 14, and 23 patients had converted to dementia. Although the GDS scores at baseline did not predict conversion to dementia, the cognitive measures and more specifically a verbal cued recall task (the memory impairment scale-plus) was a good predictor for conversion.
Based on this dataset, the presence of depressive symptoms in aMCI patients is not predictive of conversion to dementia.
Young's Schema Focused Therapy (SFT) is gaining popularity in the treatment of older adults. In the context of this therapy, the Young Schema Questionnaire (YSQ) was developed to assess the early maladaptive schemas (EMS). EMS are considered to be relatively stable over time, but research shows that questionnaires often lack face validity in older adults, which makes it difficult to investigate EMS in older adults and their stability across the lifespan.
In the present cross-sectional study, we investigated the age neutrality of the Young Schema Questionnaire – Long Form in young (aged 18–34 years), middle-aged (aged 35–59 years), and older (aged 60–75 years) adults in a clinical sample of substance use disorders (N = 321) by examining potential differential item functioning (DIF). While investigating the stability of the schemas, we controlled for substance dependency and clinical symptoms by means of, respectively, the Drug Use Screening Inventory – Revised and the Symptom Checklist-90-R.
The Bonferroni-adjusted Liu–Agresti Cumulative Common Log-Odds Ratio confirmed large DIF for six items, divided across five schema scales (Mistrust/Abuse, Subjugation, Entitlement, Enmeshment and Self-sacrifice). Of the six items that presented DIF, only one item showed differential test functioning (Entitlement). Overall results show only 3% DIF, implying age neutrality of the questionnaire.
Current results corroborate that most EMS scales are equally measured across age, and reliable comparisons can be made across the lifespan, allowing for good clinical practice and further research on SFT in older adults. Only for Entitlement, Enmeshment, and Insufficient Self-control, caution is needed when comparing mean scores across the age groups.
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