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Title: MS patients' reports of their cognitive functioning : neuropsychological test performance and influence of depression
Author: Jones, Helen Rhianne
ISNI:       0000 0004 2734 4065
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2012
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Background: Cognitive impairment is a leading cause of disability for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients. Assessing cognitive impairment on a routine basis can be difficult and there is often a reliance on patients’ own reports of their cognition. Objective: To compare MS patients’ reports of their cognitive functioning with their performance on neuropsychological tests and consider the role of depression. A secondary aim was to expand the subjective cognitive measure, The Perceived Deficits Questionnaire (PDQ), to include questions about processing speed and language. This formed the extended PDQ (PDQ-E), and aimed to provide patients with a broader subjective measure to report their cognitive functioning. Method: 82 MS patients completed a battery of neuropsychological tests to determine cognitive functioning. The PDQ and PDQ-E assessed patients’ subjective cognitive reports, and the Beck Depression Inventory-Fast Screen (BDI-FS) measured levels of depression. Results: A significant difference in PDQ scores was found between patients who were cognitively impaired and unimpaired on neuropsychological tests. A significant relationship between patients’ PDQ score and two specific neuropsychological tests (the Stroop and Digit Span) was also found. Depression highly correlated with PDQ scores, but the effect of neuropsychological test performance on PDQ scores was not significantly different for patients who were depressed and not depressed. Expanding the PDQ did not affect what patients reported, as analyses using the PDQ and PDQ-E were comparable. Subjective processing speed questions added to the PDQ (forming PDQ-E) did however appear relevant to patients’ concerns. Conclusion: Patients’ reports reflect their performance on neuropsychological tests, but correlate more strongly with depression. Services relying on patients subjective cognitive reports should consider depressive symptoms when determining future intervention, as depressed patients are more likely to report problems with their cognition.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology