The cognitive correlates of functional status: A review from the Committee on Research of the American Neuropsychiatric Association

Donald R. Royall, Edward C. Lauterbach, Daniel Kaufer, Paul Malloy, Kerry L. Coburn, Kevin J. Black

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

258 Scopus citations

Abstract

This report reviews the state of the literature and opportunities for research related to the cognitive correlates of functional status. The prediction of functional capacity on the basis of cognitive test performance is an important aspect of neuropsychological assessment. Moreover, functional impairment or "disability" is an essential part of dementia case finding. Nevertheless, relatively little attention has been given to the empirical study of the specific cognitive correlates of functional outcomes. What literature is available suggests that 1) the variance in functional status that can be specifically attributed to cognition is surprisingly modest; 2) some cognitive domains may be more relevant to functional capacity than others; 3) some measures of executive control function are relatively strong correlates of functional capacities, particularly medical or financial decision-making; and 4) "general" cognitive screening tests are surprisingly strong correlates of functional status. These findings are of particular significance to dementia case finding, epidemiology, and treatment. The extensive literature on functional status has yet to be integrated with the equally extensive literature on cognitive assessment. Better integration of cognitive and functional assessments would offer greater clinical utility. However, psychometric batteries may have to be redesigned to maximize their capacity to capture the variance in functional outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-265
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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