Comorbid visual and cognitive impairment: relationship with disability status and self-rated health among older Singaporeans.

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2014-05

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Abstract

The objective of this study was to examine the prevalence and consequences of coexisting vision and cognitive impairments in an Asian population. Data were collected from 4508 community-dwelling Singaporeans aged 60 years and older. Cognition was assessed by the Short Portable Mental Status Questionnaire whereas vision, disability, and self-rated health (SRH) were determined by self-report. Vision impairment was present in 902 (18.5%) participants and cognitive impairment in 835 (13.6%), with 232 (3.5%) participants experiencing both impairments. Persons with the comorbidity experienced higher odds of disability than persons with either single impairment. The association of vision impairment with SRH was stronger among women (odds ratio [OR] = 6.79, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 4.64-9.92) than among men (OR = 1.71, 95% CI = 1.21-2.41). Concurrent cognitive and vision impairment is prevalent in older Singaporeans and is associated with high rates of disability. Gender differences in vision-dependent roles may affect the patient-perceived impact of this comorbidity.

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10.1177/1010539512443698

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Whitson, Heather E, Rahul Malhotra, Angelique Chan, David B Matchar and Truls Østbye (2014). Comorbid visual and cognitive impairment: relationship with disability status and self-rated health among older Singaporeans. Asia-Pacific journal of public health, 26(3). pp. 310–319. 10.1177/1010539512443698 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/22887.

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Scholars@Duke

Whitson

Heather Elizabeth Whitson

Professor of Medicine

Dr. Whitson's research is focused on improving care options and resilience for people with multiple chronic conditions.  In particular, she has interest and expertise related to the link between age-related changes in the eye and brain (e.g., How does late-life vision loss impact the aging brain or cognitive outcomes?  Is Alzheimer's disease associated with distinctive changes in the retina, and could such changes help diagnose Alzheimer's disease early in its course?).  Dr. Whitson leads a collaborative Alzheimer's Disease initiative that brings together investigators from Duke University and the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill, with a bold vision to transform dementia research and care across Eastern North Carolina. Dr. Whitson is also interested in improving health services to better meet the needs of medically complex patients.  Within the Duke Aging Center, she leads research efforts aimed at promoting resilience to late-life stressors (e.g., surgery, sensory loss, infection).  She has developed a novel rehabilitation model for people with co-existing vision and cognitive deficits, and she is part of a inter-disciplinary team seeking to improve peri-operative outcomes for frail or at-risk seniors who must undergo surgery.  As a co-leader of a national resilience collaborative, she seeks to better understand the biological and psychological factors that determine how well we "bounce back" after health stressors.  

Matchar

David Bruce Matchar

Professor of Medicine

My research relates to clinical practice improvement - from the development of clinical policies to their implementation in real world clinical settings. Most recently my major content focus has been cerebrovascular disease. Other major clinical areas in which I work include the range of disabling neurological conditions, cardiovascular disease, and cancer prevention.
Notable features of my work are: (1) reliance on analytic strategies such as meta-analysis, simulation, decision analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis; (2) a balancing of methodological rigor the needs of medical professionals; and (3) dependence on interdisciplinary groups of experts.
This approach is best illustrated by the Stroke Prevention Patient Outcome Research Team (PORT), for which I served as principal investigator. Funded by the AHCPR, the PORT involved 35 investigators at 13 institutions. The Stroke PORT has been highly productive and has led to a stroke prevention project funded as a public/private partnership by the AHCPR and DuPont Pharma, the Managing Anticoagulation Services Trial (MAST). MAST is a practice improvement trial in 6 managed care organizations, focussing on optimizing anticoagulation for individuals with atrial fibrillation.
I serve as consultant in the general area of analytic strategies for clinical policy development, as well as for specific projects related to stroke (e.g., acute stroke treatment, management of atrial fibrillation, and use of carotid endarterectomy.) I have worked with AHCPR (now AHRQ), ACP, AHA, AAN, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, NSA, WHO, and several pharmaceutical companies.
Key Words: clinical policy, disease management, stroke, decision analysis, clinical guidelines


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