Relationship Between Cognitive Functioning and Activities of Daily Living in Homeless Adults

Date
2016
Authors
Traino, Katherine
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Abstract

It has been established that a homeless population demonstrates impairment in various areas of memory executive functioning, such as decision making and verbal fluency (Davidson, Chrosniak, Wanschura, & Flinn, 2014). However, research into other subcomponents of executive cognition must continue to enumerate the details of functioning in this population. In populations with related cognitive impairment such as Parkinson’s disease and dementia, it has been established that deficits on high demand cognitive tasks predict impairment on activities of daily living (ADLs) (Reppermund, 2011). Such activities include financial management, home care, hygiene, transportation, and medication management. The importance of the relationship between cognitive functioning and ADLs in a homeless population has implications for possible intervention strategies. Should cognitive impairments be addressed, independent living conditions could be improved long-term. The present study examined the relationship between measures of neuropsycholgical cognitive functioning and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) in homeless adults. The proposed hypothesis stated that impairment in executive function domains would be correlated with IADL impairment. A sample of 44 participants was recruited from Mission Waco and examined at the Meyer Center. Results did not support the proposed hypothesis. There were no correlations between any of the tested cognitive domains and the IADL measure. It is hypothesized that the IADL measure was not sensitive enough for this population. Examinations of correlations between the tested domains found predicted intercorrelations within and between measures, particularly between intelligence and memory as well as intelligence and inhibition-switching. These intercorrelations support previous research. Further research should implement more sensitive IADL measures. Keywords: executive functioning, activities of daily living, homelessness

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