Examination of Variables That May Affect the Relationship Between Cognition and Functional Status in Individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Meta-Analysis

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The objective of this meta-analysis was to improve understanding of the heterogeneity in the relationship between cognition and functional status in individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Demographic, clinical, and methodological moderators were examined. Cognition explained an average of 23% of the variance in functional outcomes. Executive function measures explained the largest amount of variance (37%), whereas global cognitive status and processing speed measures explained the least (20%). Short- and long-delayed memory measures accounted for more variance (35% and 31%) than immediate memory measures (18%), and the relationship between cognition and functional outcomes was stronger when assessed with informant-report (28%) compared with self-report (21%). Demographics, sample characteristics, and type of everyday functioning measures (i.e., questionnaire, performance-based) explained relatively little variance compared with cognition. Executive functioning, particularly measured by Trails B, was a strong predictor of everyday functioning in individuals with MCI. A large proportion of variance remained unexplained by cognition.

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