Predictors of change on the Fuld Object Memory Evaluation in a two-year longitudinal study of optimally healthy very old adults
This study examined predictors of change in selected variables derived from the Fuld Object Memory Evaluation (OME) in 57 community-dwelling adults between 76 and 87 years of age who were in optimal physical health. Participants were assessed at baseline (T1), after one (T2), and two (T3) years, and predictors included age, gender and education obtained at T1, as well as WAIS-R performance IQ obtained at each testing interval. Hierarchical regressions indicated that performance from the previous interval was the strongest predictor of subsequent scores across each of the OME measures; namely, total recall, list learning, long-term retrieval and short-term retrieval. Performance IQ at T1 added to the explanatory variance of change in long-term and short-term retrieval scores from T1 to T2. At each interval, performance IQ predicted selective reminding scores, with demographics playing a relatively minor role. As has been suggested in previous research with impaired populations, the degree to which individuals are able to consolidate material in long-term memory may play a strong role in influencing retrieval at subsequent recall opportunities. The data from the current study are consistent with earlier research and suggest that long-term memory consolidation may be positively affected by performance IQ over time in optimally healthy very old adults.