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This study describes the performance of the Multilingual Naming Test (MINT) by Chinese American older adults who are monolingual Chinese speakers. An attempt was also made to identify items that could introduce bias and warrant attention in future investigation.
The MINT was administered to 67 monolingual Chinese older adults as part of the standard dementia evaluation at the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS), New York, USA. A diagnosis of normal cognition (n = 38), mild cognitive impairment (n = 12), and dementia (n = 17) was assigned to all participants at clinical consensus conferences using criterion sheets developed at the ADRC at ISMMS.
MINT scores were negatively correlated with age and positively correlated with education, showing sensitivity to demographic factors. One item, butterfly, showed no variations in responses across diagnostic groups. Inclusion of responses from different regions of China changed the answers from “incorrect” to “correct” on 20 items. The last five items, porthole, anvil, mortar, pestle, and axle, yielded a high nonresponse rate, with more than 70% of participants responding with “I don’t know.” Four items, funnel, witch, seesaw, and wig, were not ordered with respect to item difficulty in the Chinese language. Two items, gauge and witch, were identified as culturally biased for the monolingual group.
Our study highlights the cultural and linguistic differences that might influence the test performance. Future studies are needed to revise the MINT using more universally recognized items of similar word frequency across different cultural and linguistic groups.
Caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias are a population in need of support as they are vulnerable to emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion associated with caregiver burnout. While CDC guidelines state that social distancing is the greatest protective factor, it can already exacerbate feelings of isolation and stress. Technology offers the opportunity to maximize socialization and access to healthcare; however, research shows that digital platforms are most underutilized by older and lower socioeconomic patients.
This report describes the transition of a weekly caregiver support group from telephone to video conferencing to improve connectedness during a period of social isolation.
In 2020, the caregiver support group met weekly over the phone. At each session, there were increased discussions of moving the telephone support group to a video platform. A focused discussion about technology platforms was held to gain an understanding of caregiver attitudes and thoughts regarding technology in which caregivers worried that a video platform would be intrusive and invasive. In June 2020, unreliable phone service resulted in the group transitioning to video.
The caregiver group consisted of 5 active members, 2 African American, 2 Asian, and 1 Caucasian. Initial problems included connectivity issues, needing to switch to multiple devices, and assistance with troubleshooting and utilizing the platform. However, caregivers reported feeling that the transition to video was the most natural next step and assisted with reducing feelings of isolation, anxiety, and fear they reported as a result of social distancing due to COVID-19. Caregivers reported feeling connected and because they knew each other so intimately, no longer felt video was intrusive.
For older populations who are not familiar with technology, it is important to take steps before beginning a new platform service. This allows for a natural progression to unfamiliar technology. The video platform provided an opportunity for caregivers to be together while apart, which is important for mental health and decreasing caregiver burden.
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