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In medical practice, a patient’s loss of competency is a major obstacle when choosing a treatment and a starting treatment program smoothly. A large number of studies have revealed the lack of medical competency in patients with dementia. However, there have been only a few reports focusing on the capacity of patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to make a medical choice.
In this study, we evaluated the competency of 40 patients with amnestic MCI (aMCI) and 33 normal subjects to make a medical choice using the MacArthur Competence Assessment Tool-Treatment (MacCAT-T). We compared the judgement of a team conference using the recorded semi-structured interview with the clinical judgement of a chief clinician.
A team conference concluded that 12 aMCI patients had no competency, and the clinical judgement, without any special interview, judged that five aMCI patients had no competency. All subjects in the control groups were judged to be competent to consent to treatment by both clinicians and the team conference.
Without supplementary tools such as explanatory documents, not a few patients with aMCI were judged by a team conference to have no competency to consent to therapy even in a relatively simple and easy case. In contrast, clinical physicians tended to evaluate the competency of aMCI patients in a generous manner.
Quality of life (QOL) has become an important outcome measure in the care of dementia patients. However, there have been few studies focusing on the difference in QOL between different dementias.
Two-hundred seventy-nine consecutive outpatients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) or frontotemporal dementia (FTD) were recruited. The QOL was evaluated objectively using the QOL Questionnaire for Dementia (QOL-D).The QOL-D comprises six domains: positive affect, negative affect and actions, communication, restlessness, attachment to others, and spontaneity. General cognition, daily activities, and behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia were also evaluated.
The scores of positive affect of QOL-D of AD patients were significantly higher than those of patients with DLB or FTD (AD 3.1 ± 0.8, DLB 2.6 ± 0.9, FTD 2.6 ± 0.7). The scores of negative affect and action of QOL-D of FTD patients were significantly higher than those of patients with AD or DLB (FTD 2.0 ± 0.8, AD 1.4 ± 0.5, DLB 1.5 ± 0.6). The apathy scores of FTD and DLB patients were significantly higher than those of patients with AD. The disinhibition scores of FTD patients were significantly higher than those of patients with AD or DLB.
The apathy of FTD and DLB patients and depression of DLB patients might affect the lower positive affect of FTD and DLB patients compared to AD patients. The disinhibition of FTD patients might affect the abundance of negative affect & actions in FTD patients compared to AD and DLB patients.
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