The Role of Cognition in Predicting Activities of Daily Living and Ambulation Functioning in the Oldest Old Rehabilitation Patients

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Recent research results underscored the importance of independent Activities of Daily Living (ADL) and lower extremity function in the elderly (Wolinsky et al., 1993). Sixty consecutive patients aged 85 or older admitted to an inpatient rehabilitation program were studied to determine if demographic, medical, cognitive and affective variables had predictive value in determining ADL and ambulation scores as measured by the Functional Independence Measure (FIM). The Mattis Dementia Rating Scale (DRS) was the only measure in this study to correlate significantly with both ADL(r=.27; p<.05) and ambulation (r=.27; p<.05) scores. Gender was correlated with ADL skills (r=.27; p.05) indicating that women attained higher ADL scores than did men. DRS scores accounted for 8% of ADL variance and 16% of ambulation variance, above and beyond demographic and medical variables.

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