Comorbid cognitive impairment and functional trajectories in low vision rehabilitation for macular disease.
Whitson HE, Ansah D, Sanders LL, Whitaker D, Potter GG, Cousins SW, Steffens DC, Landerman LR, Pieper CF, Cohen HJ.
Aging Center, Duke University Medical Center, DUMC 3003, Durham, NC 27710, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
BACKGROUND AND AIMS:
Comorbid cognitive impairment is common among visually impaired older adults. This study investigated whether baseline cognitive status predicts functional trajectories among older adults in low vision rehabilitation (LVR) for macular disease.
The Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status - modified (TICS-m) was administered to macular disease patients aged ≥ 65 years receiving outpatient LVR. Mixed models assessed the rate of change in instrumental activities of daily living and visual function measures over a mean follow-up of 115 days.
Of 91 participants, 17 (18.7%) had cognitive impairment (TICS-m score ≤ 27) and 23 (25.3%) had marginal impairment (TICS-m scores 28 to 30). Controlling for age and gender, baseline cognitive status did not predict most functional outcomes. However, participants with marginal cognitive impairment experienced worse functional trajectories in ability to prepare meals (p=0.03) and activities that require distance vision (p=0.05).
Patients with mild to moderate cognitive impairment should not be excluded from LVR, but programs should be prepared to detect and accommodate a range of cognitive ability.