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The role of executive function in activities of daily living of Parkinson's disease patients

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Oosterloo, CB 2011 , 'The role of executive function in activities of daily living of Parkinson's disease patients', Coursework Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

This study sought to investigate whether specific areas of cognitive ability shared a relationship with an individual with Parkinson's ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs). Previous research has indicated that executive functioning ability shares the strongest correlation with functional independence. Memory, visuo-spatial sldlls and performance on the Trails B executive test have also been shown previously to share moderate to strong relationships with ADL performance. Based on this, it was hypothesised that Executive functioning, memory, visuo-spatial ability, and performance on the Trails B subtest would all share significant correlations with ability to perform ADL tasks. Participants included 39 patients (23 males and 16 females) at the Royal Hobart Hospital all with a diagnosis of idiopathic onset Parkinson' s disease. Cognitive ability was assessed using the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neurological Status (RBANS), the FAS, the Brixton Spatial Anticipation Test, the Trail Making test and a speed of information processing test from the Birt Memory and Information Processing Battery (BMIPB). ADL performance was measured using the Functional Independence Measure (FIM). There was moderate/strong support for the hypotheses that executive functioning and the Trails B test shared a significant relationship with the ability to perform AD Ls. There was weak/moderate support for the hypotheses that memory and visuo-spatial ability would also share a significant correlation with ADL performance.
The findings of this study, added to the field of research regarding the relationship shared between tests of executive functioning. More specifically, this study did so utilising a Parkinson' s disease specific population, and found that the Trails B subtest shared the strongest relationship with ADL proficiency. This provides clinicians with greater knowledge of which tests of executive functioning share the strongest link with ability to perform ADL tasks. Future studies may seek to expand on this research by utilising a larger sample size and controlling for durations between medications taken by patients. Future investigation could also further clarify the role of specific executive functioning subtests in determining functional independence by including regression analyses to determine the amount of variance accounted for in ADL proficiency by the Trails B task, and other subtests of executive functioning.

Item Type: Thesis - Coursework Master
Authors/Creators:Oosterloo, CB
Keywords: Parkinson's disease, Cognition
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2011 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (MPsych(Clin))--University of Tasmania, 2011. Includes bibliographical references

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