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Living with stable MCI: Experiences among 17 individuals evaluated at a memory clinic.

Journal article
Authors Anne Ingeborg Berg
Anders Wallin
Arto Nordlund
Boo Johansson
Published in Aging & mental health
Volume 17
Issue 3
Pages 293-9
ISSN 1364-6915
Publication year 2013
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Department of Psychology
Pages 293-9
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2012.75...
Keywords mild cognitive impairment, heritability, adjustment, stress, support
Subject categories Psychiatry, Psychology

Abstract

Objectives: Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a state of mildly impaired cognitive functioning but with an intact capability of performing basic daily activities. Few studies have targeted personal narratives from persons living with MCI, the major focus in this study is directed to methods for better predictions of the likelihood for conversion to dementia. This study directly explores experiences among individuals who have lived with MCI over seven years without converting to dementia. Methods: Seventeen individuals, who had been diagnosed with MCI across four occasions over a seven-year period at a memory clinic, were interviewed at a single occasion about their experiences of living with MCI, life events, stress, coping, psychosocial resources, and lifestyle behaviors. Results: Thematic analysis of the transcripts of the interviews resulted in themes revolving around the life situation and events related to the first visit at the memory clinic, coping with lower cognitive capacity with the aim of enhancing quality of life, and worries about dementia and further cognitive deteriorations. Conclusion: The participants' experiences of living with MCI indicate that issues and changes in life situations such as long-term stress, retirement, loss of relatives, perceived heritability of dementia, needs to be understood in the context of the individual's understanding and interpretation of their everyday cognitive functioning. Also, supportive long-term contacts with the specialist care unit were vital for creating a personal understanding of MCI. Addressing the intra-personal dynamics of cognitive functioning in the boundary between normal and pathological cognitive aging can also improve diagnostic accuracy.

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