Vol. 12 nº 2 - Apr/May/Jun de 2018
Original Article Páginas: 165 a 172

Mild cognitive impairment in the elderly: relationship between communication and functional capacity

Authors Ana Iza Gomes da Penha Sobral1; Cláudia Marina Tavares de Araújo2; Marcos Felipe Falcão Sobral3


keywords: mild cognitive impairment, elderly, communication.

Mild Cognitive Impairment is characterized as an intermediate form between age-related change and dementia. For the elderly, autonomy and independence are related to the ability to remain active in conducting their social activities and, for this to occur, communication is fundamental in this process.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the association between communication and the abilities of elderly people with mild cognitive impairment to perform instrumental activities of daily living.
METHODS: A cross-sectional, quantitative, analytical, correlational study was conducted at the Open University of the Third Age (UnATI), a program of the Federal University of Pernambuco. This study included 92 people, comprising 46 elderly with mild cognitive impairment and a caregiver or family member who met the inclusion criteria. The elderly were asked to complete a sociodemographic questionnaire and Lawton-Brody's Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale. The caregivers were asked to complete the Functional Assessment of Communication Skills. The following variables were studied: social communication skills and instrumental activities of daily living. Data were stored in an Excel® 2007 spreadsheet, and the Pearson correlation test was used for the statistical analysis.
RESULTS: There were statistically significant correlations in four domains of social communication: referring to family members by name (p=0.0033); requesting information about people or events (p=0.0355); understanding conversations in a noisy environment (p=0.0448); and understanding what they watch on television or listen to on the radio (p=0.0127).
CONCLUSION: Changes in the communication of elderly people with mild cognitive impairment interfere with their ability to perform instrumental activities autonomously and independently.


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