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Relationships Between Cognitive Complaints and Quality of Life in Older Adults With Mild Cognitive Impairment, Mild Alzheimer Disease Dementia, and Normal Cognition

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To examine in persons with varying degrees of cognitive impairment the relationship between self-reports of cognitive complaints and quality of life (QOL).


Older adults (n=259) with normal cognition, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and mild stage Alzheimer disease (AD) dementia completed tests of cognition and self-report questionnaires about QOL and 3 kinds of cognitive complaints: cognitive difficulties, distress from cognitive difficulties, and believing you had more memory problems than most people. Bivariate, multivariable, and multivariate regression analyses assessed relationships between domains of QOL and each cognitive complaint.


Bivariate and multivariable analyses controlling for severity of cognitive and functional impairment found that cognitive complaints were related to relatively lower quality of daily life (QOL-AD, Dementia Quality of Life Scale), greater depression (GDS), more anxiety (BAI), higher perceived stress (PSS), and lower general mental well-being (SF-12 MCS).


Cognitive complaints have robust associations with QOL. These findings have implications for AD prevention trials and management of clinical populations.
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Keywords: Alzheimer disease; mild cognitive impairment; quality of life; self-rated health; self-reported symptoms

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Perlman School of Medicine 2: Departments of Medicine 3: National Board of Medical Examiners, Philadelphia, PA 4: Medicine, Medical Ethics and Health Policy, and Neurology, Penn Memory Center, University of Pennsylvania

Publication date: October 1, 2018

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