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The current study examined whether self-reported memory problems among cognitively intact older adults changed concurrently with, preceded, or followed depressive symptoms over time.
Data were collected annually via in-person comprehensive medical and neuropsychological examinations as part of the Einstein Aging Study.
Community-dwelling older adults in an urban, multi-ethnic area of New York City were interviewed.
The current study included a total of 1,162 older adults (Mage = 77.65, SD = 5.03, 63.39% female; 74.12% White). Data were utilized from up to 11 annual waves per participant.
Multilevel modeling tested concurrent and lagged associations between three types of memory self-report (frequency of memory problems, perceived one-year decline, and perceived ten-year decline) and depressive symptoms.
Results showed that self-reported frequency of memory problems covaried with depressive symptoms only in participants who were older at baseline. Changes in perceived one-year and ten-year memory decline were related to changes in depressive symptoms across all ages. Depressive symptoms increased the likelihood of perceived ten-year memory decline the next year; however, perceived ten-year memory decline did not predict future depressive symptoms. Additionally, no significant temporal relationship was observed between depressive symptoms and self-reported frequency of memory problems or perceived one-year memory decline.
Our findings highlight the importance of testing the unique associations of different types of self-reported memory problems with depressive symptoms.
Older adults with subjective cognitive impairment (SCI) experience increased affective symptoms, reduced engagement in a range of activities, as well as more functional problems when compared to those without SCI. These associations suggest that SCI may be detrimental to older adults’ quality of life (QoL). The purpose of this paper is to advance understanding of the SCI–QoL relationship through a comprehensive review of the empirical literature relating SCI and QoL.
A systematic literature review was conducted in CINAHL, PsycINFO, and PubMed per the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses criteria. Eligible articles were appraised using the weight of evidence (WoE) framework to evaluate methodological quality, methodological relevance, and topic relevance. A narrative synthesis of results was conducted, based on conceptual definitions of QoL.
Eleven articles were identified that met eligibility criteria. WoE ratings ranged from low to high scores. Studies reviewed reported that the presence, greater frequency, or greater severity of SCI is associated with lower QoL regardless of methodological quality rating, sample characteristics (e.g. geographic location, clinical vs. community settings), study design (e.g. cross-sectional vs. longitudinal), and operationalization of SCI or QoL.
Across studies, QoL was negatively associated with SCI. However, a frequent limitation of the reviewed literature was the mismatch between the conceptual and operational definitions of SCI and QoL. Similarly, SCI measures varied in quality across the reviewed literature. This suggests future empirical work should focus on the appropriate strategies for conceptually and operationally defining these constructs.
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