Springer Nature

Are self-management abilities beneficial for frail older people’s cognitive functioning?

Posted on 2022-08-23 - 09:06
Abstract Background Self-management abilities seem to be important for the cognitive functioning of older people, especially those who are frail. We investigated relationships between broad self-management abilities (initiative taking, investment behavior, resource variety, resource multifunctionality, self-efficacy, and positive frame of mind) and cognitive functioning among frail older people while controlling for background characteristics (sex, age, marital status, and educational level). Method Survey data were collected from mid-2014 to mid-2015 from community-dwelling frail older people residing in North Brabant, the Netherlands. We measured cognitive functioning with the 12-item Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE-12) and self-management abilities with the short version of the Self-Management Ability Scale (SMAS-S). Results In total, 588 of 834 potential participants were willing to participate (70.5% response rate). The mean age was 82.33 ± 5.19 and the majority (68.5%) of respondents were female. About one-third (38.4%) of respondents had low educational levels and 61.7% lived alone. Mean MMSE-12 and SMAS-S scores were 9.68 ± 2.10 and 3.70 ± 0.88, respectively. Bivariate analyses showed that all six self-management abilities were related positively to cognitive functioning. Multivariate analyses with adjustment for background characteristics (sex, age, marital status, and educational level) showed that cognitive functioning was associated positively with initiative taking (β = 0.23, p = 0.030) and investment behavior (β = 0.24, p = 0.030) among community-dwelling frail older people. Conclusions This study clearly showed that a repertoire of broad self-management abilities is related to cognitive functioning among community-dwelling frail older people. Initiative taking and investment behavior seem to be especially important. These findings are of interest in a time of populational aging and an increasing number of older people dealing with cognitive problems. Preventive investments in (older) people’s self-management abilities are expected to be beneficial for their cognitive functioning in the long term.


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