Clinical Utility of Auditory Memory Testing in a Heart Failure Population.
ABSTRACT BACKGROUND:: The self-care regimen necessary in heart failure (HF) is notably complex. A complication to integrating new knowledge and behaviors is that impaired cognition has been frequently reported in patients with HF, which significantly impacts patients' health, admission and mortality rates, and instrumental activities of daily living. OBJECTIVE:: The identification of reliable cognitive screening tools to assess potential difficulties in performing self-care for cardiac populations is essential. As such, the current purposes were to evaluate the validity and stability of the International Shopping List (ISL) auditory learning subtest from the computerized CogState battery as a screening tool in HF populations, determine the ISL's ability to predict functional declines, and evaluate the task's sensitivity in myocardial infarction. METHODS:: Forty patients with chronic HF were enrolled in a longitudinal study evaluating the impact of a cognitive training intervention. Baseline neuropsychological and behavioral measurements before treatment were used in the current study, including measures of auditory memory, orientation, verbal fluency, processing speed, and activities of daily living, and a subset of patients (n = 17) received repeat testing at 8 weeks on some tasks. Analyses also were performed with patients organized based on myocardial infarction status. RESULTS:: The current study indicated that the ISL performed comparably with an established measure of auditory memory (Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised; r = 0.70, P < .001), displayed adequate coefficients of stability (r = 0.53-0.68), and successfully predicted declines over time in daily functioning (β = .47, P < .001) in our HF sample. CONCLUSIONS:: The computerized CogState auditory memory subtest, the ISL, seems to be a beneficial tool in evaluating cognitive change in HF patients. Particularly given its cross-cultural sensitivity and ease of administration and scoring, this task may provide assistance to quickly and reliably monitor memory functioning in these vulnerable patients and gauge their potential for self-care behaviors.
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ABSTRACT: Impaired cardiac function can adversely affect the brain via decreased perfusion. The purpose of this study was to determine if cardiac ejection fraction (EF) is associated with cognitive performance, and whether this is modified by low blood pressure. Neuropsychological testing evaluating multiple cognitive domains, measurement of mean arterial pressure (MAP), and measurement of EF were performed in 234 individuals with coronary artery disease. The association between level of EF and performance within each cognitive domain was explored, as was the interaction between low MAP and EF. Adjusted global cognitive performance, as well as performance in visuoconstruction and motor speed, was significantly directly associated with cardiac EF. This relationship was not entirely linear, with a steeper association between EF and cognition at lower levels of EF than at higher levels. Patients with low EF and low MAP at the time of testing had worse cognitive performance than either of these alone, particularly for the global and motor speed cognitive scores. Low EF may be associated with worse cognitive performance, particularly among individuals with low MAP and for cognitive domains typically associated with vascular cognitive impairment. Further care should be paid to hypotension in the setting of heart failure, as this may exacerbate cerebral hypoperfusion.Behavioural neurology 01/2010; 22(1-2):63-71. DOI:10.3233/BEN-2009-0261 · 1.64 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Patients with heart failure (HF) have been found to have cognitive deficits, but it remains unclear whether these deficits are associated with HF or with aging or comorbid conditions common in HF. : The purpose of this study was (a) to determine the types, the frequency, and the severity of cognitive deficits among patients with chronic HF compared with age- and education-matched healthy participants and participants with major medical conditions other than HF, and (b) to evaluate the relationships between HF severity, age, and comorbidities and cognitive deficits. A sample of 414 participants completed the study (249 HF patients, 63 healthy and 102 medical participants). The HF patients completed measures of HF severity, comorbidity (multiple comorbidity, depressive symptoms), and neuropsychological functioning. Blood pressure and oxygen saturation were assessed at interview; clinical variables were abstracted from records. Participants in the comparison groups completed the same measures as the HF patients except those specific to HF. Compared with the healthy and medical participants, HF patients had poorer memory, psychomotor speed, and executive function. Significantly more HF patients (24%) had deficits in three or more domains. Higher (worse) HF severity was associated with more cognitive deficits; HF severity interacted with age to explain deficits in executive function. Surprisingly, men with HF had poorer memory, psychomotor speed, and visuospatial recall ability than women. Multiple comorbidity, hypertension, depressive symptoms, and medications were not associated with cognitive deficits in this sample. HF results in losses in memory, psychomotor speed, and executive function in almost one fourth of patients. Patients with more severe HF are at risk for cognitive deficits. Older patients with more severe HF may have more problems in executive function, and men with HF may be at increased risk for cognitive deficits. Studies are urgently needed to identify the mechanisms for the cognitive deficits in HF and to test innovative interventions to prevent cognitive loss and decline.Nursing research 01/2010; 59(2):127-39. DOI:10.1097/NNR.0b013e3181d1a747 · 1.50 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Patients with chronic heart failure (HF) have cognitive deficits in memory, psychomotor speed, and executive function and poor health-related quality of life (HRQL), but the association between cognitive deficits and HRQL is unknown. The objectives of this study were to (1) evaluate the relationship between HF severity, age, comorbidities, and cognitive deficits and HRQL among patients with chronic HF and (2) examine whether cognitive deficits mediated the relationship between HF severity and HRQL. This study was part of a larger explanatory study; 249 patients with HF completed face-to-face interviews. Measures of HF severity, comorbidity (multiple comorbid conditions, hypertension, and depressive symptoms), cognitive function (domains of language, working memory, memory, psychomotor speed, and executive function), and HRQL were obtained. Clinical variables were abstracted from patients' records. Statistical analyses were conducted using descriptive statistics, Pearson correlation coefficients, and multiple linear regression analyses. Overall, the HRQL of patients was moderately poor. Heart failure severity, age, depressive symptoms, and total recall memory explained 55% of the variance in HRQL, but the contribution of memory was minimal (1%). Patients with more severe HF, younger age, and more depressive symptoms had poorer HRQL. Other cognitive function variables, multiple comorbidity, and hypertension were not significant explanatory variables for HRQL. Cognitive deficits did not mediate the relationship between HF severity and HRQL. Novel interventions targeted at improving HRQL continue to be urgently needed, particularly among younger patients and patients with depressive symptoms. Measures of HRQL are not sufficient as outcomes when investigating cognitive deficits in HF. Investigators need to include outcome measures of patients' actual abilities to perform daily activities and HF self-care.The Journal of cardiovascular nursing 03/2010; 25(3):189-98. DOI:10.1097/JCN.0b013e3181ca36fe · 1.81 Impact Factor