DrKateDeanA new study that looks at a validating a questionnaire to assess health related quality of life in people with mild cognitive impairment (a condition between normal cognition and dementia) has recently been added to Join Dementia Research. We got in touch with the Chief Investigator, Dr Katherine Dean, to find out more.

This new study is a follow on study, with Dr Dean creating the Mild Cognitive Impairment Questionnaire during her research degree in 2010. As a registrar in Geriatric medicine, she mentions that cognitive problems is something they come across very frequently, and the Professor she worked with in Oxford suggested mild cognitive impairment as a new area of research.

To create the questionnaire initially, Dr Dean carried out interviews with people with mild cognitive impairment and their carers, and looked at issues around quality of life and experiences of healthcare.

Now the team are looking into whether the questionnaire can be a reliable measure to detect significant change in the quality of life of people with Mild Cognitive Impairment.

The Questionnaire

The questionnaire is paper-based and consists of 13 statements and asks ‘As a result of problems with memory or thinking, how often in the past four weeks haQuestionnairesve you experienced the following?’. Participants must select ‘Never / Rarely / Sometimes / Often / Always’ to rate which issues they might be experiencing (such as ‘Irritation or frustration about your memory problems’ and ‘Worry about your memory getting worse in the future’).

How the study works

Participants are required to complete the questionnaire at home. Once the research team receive the questionnaire back, they send out the same questionnaire a week or two later to complete, and then a final copy a year later (together with approximately 5 additional questions regarding relevant changes in the intervening period).

The study will run for 24 months, but each participant is in the study for just over 1 year in total.

Implications of the study

By reviewing the results of the questionnaires over time, the research team are able to then look at whether it gives a measure that has changed over time. If these properties are confirmed, the questionnaire has the potential to become a useful tool to evaluate interventions in Mild Cognitive Impairment.

No such questionnaire or outcome measure developed specifically for this purpose in Mild Cognitive Impairment exists at present.

Dr Dean hopes to validate the questionnaire so “it will be a much more useful tool for both research and in clinical practice”.

Who is eligible?

The Main Inclusion Criteria is:
• Aged 50 years or older
• Diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) confirmed by a specialist service in the past 12 months
• Able to read and write in English

Benefits of Join Dementia Research

Dr Dean says “Join Dementia Research is really helpful because not all memory clinics diagnose MCI very frequently, so it’s actually quite difficult to get a large group of people to fill in the questionnaire. It’s difficult to get the numbers we need in one study site. So having something like Join Dementia Research, which means I can pull people from all over the place is really helpful.”

The teams based at North Essex and Berkshire have already been able to identify potential participants through Join Dementia Research.

The study is entitled ‘Further evaluation of the MCQ‘. Could you be eligible for this study?
Please sign up for ‘Join dementia research’ and enter all your information required.

Martin-In-GardenHave you been involved in a study on the service? What did you learn? If you are interested in telling your story, please get in touch (comms.jdr@nihr.ac.uk).

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