The journals of gerontology, 2020
The effects of tau, amyloid and white matter lesions on mobility, dual tasking and balance in older people
This study aimed to investigate whether white matter lesions (WML), β-amyloid- and tau pathologies are independently associated with mobility, dual tasking and dynamic balance performance in older non-demented individuals.
We included 299 older people (mean, SD, age: 71.8, 5.6 years) from the Swedish BioFINDER study, whereof 175 were cognitively unimpaired and 124 had mild cognitive impairment (MCI). In multivariable regression analyses, dependent variables included mobility (Timed Up & Go, TUG), dual tasking (TUG with a simultaneous subtraction task, i.e. TUG-Cog, as well as dual task cost), and balance (Figure-of-eight). The analyses were controlled for age, sex, education, diagnosis (i.e. MCI) and comorbidity (stroke, diabetes, and ischemic heart disease). Independent variables included WML volume, and measures of β-amyloid (abnormal CSF Aβ42/40 ratio) and tau pathology (CSF phosphorylated tau, p-tau).
Multivariable regression analyses showed that an increased WML volume was independently associated with decreased mobility, i.e. TUG (standardized β=0.247; p<0.001). Tau pathology was independently associated with dual tasking both when using the raw data of TUG-Cog (β=0.224; p=0.003) and the dual task cost (β= -0.246; p=0.001). Amyloid pathology was associated with decreased balance, i.e. Figure-of-eight (β= 0.172; p=0.028). The independent effects of WML and tau pathology were mainly observed in those with MCI, which was not the case for the effects of amyloid pathology on balance.
Common brain pathologies have different effects where WML are independently associated with mobility, tau pathology has the strongest effect on dual tasking and amyloid pathology seems to be independently associated with balance. Although these novel findings need to be confirmed in longitudinal studies, they suggest that different brain pathologies have different effects on mobility, balance and dual tasking in older non-demented individuals.
Journal of occupational science, 2020
A critical occupational perspective on user engagement of older adults in an assisted living facility in technology research over three years
Digital assistive technology has potential for supporting older adults who depend upon community healthcare services. To boost the efficiency of those services, technological devices are often installed for care recipients as part of governed practice. However, the varying adoption of technology risks widening the digital divide. In response, the Assisted Living project engaged older adults in co-creating knowledge about users’ needs, to guide the development of technological solutions designed to support everyday living. This study sought to investigate how eight older adults in an assisted living facility in Norway, aged 81–92 years, evaluated user inclusion in a 3-year technology-oriented research project. Individual interviews, dialogue cafés, interventions with environmental sensors, and a final focus group discussion constituted sites for co-creation of knowledge. Participants’ answers to standardised questionnaires and statements during dialogue café meetings were collated into tables and the focus group discussion was thematically analyzed, with three themes identified: motivation for project engagement, experiencing and understanding participation in the project, and mixed feelings towards environmental sensors at home. The project revealed that older adults with impairments could nevertheless meaningfully contribute opinions about their needs. Applying a critical occupational perspective raised awareness regarding sociocultural assumptions about older adults in assisted living as frail and unable to participate, which may reinforce ageist and ableist stereotypes, as well as promote occupational injustice.
Nordic Journal of psychiatry, 2020
Background: Milieu therapy (MT) is an important interprofessional part of therapy for persons with late-life anxiety and depression in psychogeriatric inpatient units. Research on how this is conducted is scarce.
Aim: To explore nurses’ and nurse assistants’ experience regarding MT interventions for persons with late-life anxiety and depression and how this is applied and conducted in the everyday life in a psychogeriatric inpatient unit.
Method: Four focus group interviews with nurses and nurse assistants were conducted. Systematic text condensation was used for analyzing and interpreting the data.
Results: MT was described as a dynamic and active process. Conscious individualized cooperation and communication day and night emerged as overarching theme, with following categories: 1. Collecting clues about the patient’s history, challenges and coping strategies. 2. Active use of these clues. 3. Active use of the ward setting as arena for staff to learn from each other, for patients to learn from other patients and as frame for MT in general. Strategies from both psychiatric and dementia care were used in MT interventions.
Conclusion: Results from this study describe content and complexity of MT strategies that can be supportive in everyday practice in psychogeriatric inpatient units and nursing homes, and have the potential to facilitate teaching, supervision and counseling of health professionals, caregivers and patients
Tidsskriftet den norske legeforening, 2020
Skrøpelige eldre med multisykdom har høy risiko for alvorlig sykdom og død ved smitte med koronavirus. Til forskjell fra «vanlig død» på sykehjem der det er tid til forberedelser, kan tilstanden endre seg raskt og gi organsvikt. I denne artikkelen beskriver vi lindrende ikke-invasive og invasive tiltak for skrøpelige eldre på sykehjem som er døende på grunn av covid-19.
Scandinavian journal of primary health care, 2020
Characteristics of patients assessed for cognitive decline in primary healthcare, compared to patients assessed in specialist healthcare
Objective: The aim of this study was to describe patients assessed for cognitive decline in primary healthcare, compared to patients assessed in specialist healthcare and to examine factors associated with depression.Design: This was an observational study.Setting: Fourteen outpatient clinics and 33 general practitioners and municipality memory teams across Norway.Subjects: A total of 226 patients assessed in primary healthcare and 1595 patients assessed in specialist healthcare outpatient clinics.Main outcome measures: Cornell scale for depression in dementia (CSDD), Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE), Clock drawing test, Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (IQCODE), Instrumental Activities of Daily Living, Personal Self-Maintenance Scale, Relatives’ stress scale (RSS), and Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire (NPI-Q)Results: Patients assessed in primary healthcare were older (mean age 81.3 vs 73.0 years), less educated, had poorer cognition (MMSE median 22 vs 25), more limitations in activities of daily living (ADL), more behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD), more depressive symptoms (CSDD median 7 vs 5), more often lived alone (60% vs 41%) and were more often diagnosed with dementia (86% vs 47%) compared to patients diagnosed in specialist healthcare. Depression was associated with female gender, older age, more severe decline in cognitive functioning (IQCODE, OR 1.65), higher caregiver burden (RSS, OR 1.10) and with being assessed in primary healthcare (OR 1.53).Conclusion: Post-diagnostic support tailored to patients diagnosed with dementia in primary healthcare should consider their poor cognitive function and limitations in ADL and that these people often live alone, have BPSD and depression.
Frontiers in Psychology, 2018
The Effect of Blood Pressure on Cognitive Performance. An 8-Year Follow-Up of the Tromsø Study, Comprising People Aged 45–74 Years
Background: The relationship between blood pressure (BP) and cognition is complex were age appears to be an intervening variable. High and low BP have been associated with cognitive deficits as part of the aging process, but more studies are needed, especially in more recent birth cohorts.Methods: The study sample comprised 4,465 participants, with BP measured at baseline in the Tromsø Study, Wave 6 in 2007–2008 (T0), and cognition assessed at follow-up 8 years later, in 2015–2016 in Tromsø Study 7 (T1). Age at T0 was 45–74 years, and at T1 it was 53–82 years. Cognition was assessed with three tests: The Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), the Digit Symbol Test, and the Twelve-word Test. The associations between BP and cognition were examined specifically for age and sex using linear regression analysis adjusted for baseline BP medication use, education and body mass index (kg/m2).Results: BP was associated with cognition at the 8-year follow-up, but the association differed according to age and sex. In men, higher systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) at a young age (45–55 years of age) was associated with poorer cognition; the association was reversed at older ages, especially for those above 65 years of age. In women, the associations were generally weaker than for men, and sometimes in the opposite direction: For women, a higher SBP was associated with better cognition at a younger age and higher SBP poorer cognition at older ages – perhaps due to an age delay in women compared to men. Digit Symbol Test results correlated best with BP in a three-way interaction: BP by age by sex was significant for both SBP (p = 0.005) and DBP (p = 0.005).Conclusion: Increased SBP and DBP at the younger age was clearly associated with poorer cognitive function in men 8 years later; in women the associations were weaker and sometimes in the opposite direction. Our findings clearly indicate that interactions between age and sex related to BP can predict cognitive performance over time. Men and women have different age trajectories regarding the influence of BP on cognition.
Multivariate Behavioral Research, 2020
The Truth behind the Zeros: A New Approach to Principal Component Analysis of the Neuropsychiatric Inventory
Psychiatric syndromes in dementia are often derived from the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) using principal component analysis (PCA). The validity of this statistical approach can be questioned, since the excessive proportion of zeros and skewness of NPI items may distort the estimated relations between the items. We propose a novel version of PCA, ZIBPPCA, where a zero-inflated bivariate Poisson (ZIBP) distribution models the pairwise covariance between the NPI items. We compared the performance of the method to classical PCA under zero-inflation using simulations, and in two dementia-cohorts (N¼830, N¼1349).Simulations showed that component loadings from PCA were biased due to zero-inflation, while the loadings of ZIBP-PCA remained unaffected. ZIBP-PCA obtained a simpler component structure of “psychosis,” “mood” and “agitation” in both dementia-cohorts, compared to PCA. The principal components from ZIBP-PCA had component loadings as follows: First, the component interpreted as “psychosis” was loaded by the items delusions and hallucinations. Second, the “mood” component was loaded by depression and anxiety. Finally, the “agitation” component was loaded by irritability and aggression. In conclusion, PCA is not equipped to handle zero-inflation. Using the NPI, PCA fails to identify components with a valid interpretation, while ZIBP-PCA estimates simple and interpretable components to characterize the psychopathology of dementia.
Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation, 2020
Background: Spatial navigation, the ability to determine and maintain a route from one place to another, is needed for independence in everyday life. Knowledge about impairments in spatial navigation in people with mild stroke is scarce.Objectives: To explore impairments in spatial navigation in patients ≤70 years after first-ever mild ischemic stroke (NIHSS≤3) and to explore which variables are associated with these impairments 12 months later.Methods: Patients were examined in the acute phase, and after 3 and 12 months. To assess impairments in spatial navigation, we used the Floor Maze Test (FMT), with time and FMT-errors as outcomes. Patients’ perceived navigational skills were collected using self-report. Logistic regression was used to explore which variables (sociodemographic data, stroke characteristics, cognition, and mobility) were associated with impaired navigation ability.Results: Ninety-seven patients (20 females) were included. The mean (SD) age was 55.5 (11.4) years. Timed FMT improved significantly from the acute phase to 12 months (p = <.001). At 12 months, 24 (24.7%) of the participants walked through the maze with errors, and 22 (22.7%) reported spatial navigational problems. The Trail Making Test (TMT)-B was the only variable from the acute phase associated with FMT-errors at 12 months, and being female was the only variable associated with self-reported navigational problems at 12 months.Conclusion: Nearly one in four patients experienced spatial navigation problems 12 months after a mild stroke. Executive function (TMT-B), measured in the acute phase, was associated with navigational impairments (FMT-errors) at 12 months, and being female was associated with self-reported navigational problems.
Journal of Healthcare Leadership, 2020
Care Farming for People with Dementia;What Can Healthcare Leaders Learn from This Innovative Care Concept?
There is growing recognition that traditional dementia care models fall short forpeople with dementia and their family caregivers. This has led to a call for new dementiacare approaches. In response to this call, innovations in long-term dementia care are takingplace both in the community and in residential care. One of these innovations is the careconcept called “care farming.” Care farms are farms that combine agricultural activities withcare and support services for a variety of client groups, including people with dementia.Although the concept is being implemented in an increasing number of countries, theNetherlands and Norway are still front-runners in providing and researching this innovativedementia care approach. Over the last couple of years, several research projects have beencarried out in these countries addressing a wide range of issues related to dementia careprovision at care farms and using a wide range of research methods. This paper synthesizesthe knowledge that has been generated in these research projects. By sharing the knowledgeobtained in the Netherlands and Norway, we hope to inspire leaders in healthcare undertakingsimilar efforts to innovate care for the increasing number of people with dementia. Byproviding starting-points for future research, we additionally hope to contribute to a researchagenda to further advance the field.