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Title: The assessment of pre-morbid levels of intellectual functioning in people with dementia
Author: Oakley, Emilie W.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2748 5984
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis consists of three papers: a literature review, an empirical paper and a reflective paper. The literature review considers the validity of measures of premorbid intellectual functioning with people with varying levels of dementia severity. It aims to be of use to British clinicians by focussing specially on tests that were designed for use with a British English speaking population. No single measure of pre-morbid intellectual functioning is found to be valid for use with people of all levels of dementia severity. The use of multiple measures for estimating pre-morbid intellectual functioning are indicated. The empirical paper investigates the relationship between a person’s pre-morbid level of intellectual functioning and the amount of cognitive decline that they experience prior to gaining a diagnosis of dementia. It uses a retrospective correlational design to analyse data from existing memory clinic files. A significant positive Pearson’s correlation coefficient is found between pre-morbid intellectual functioning and amount of cognitive decline at the point of diagnosis, in all three of the diagnostic groups. This suggests that people with high pre-morbid functioning have to undergo greater cognitive decline before they are given a diagnosis of dementia. Changes to current clinical practice are indicated which take account of relative amounts of cognitive decline in the diagnostic process. Finally, a reflective account is presented which is based on the author’s thoughts and experiences of carrying out research in the field of dementia. This focuses on the challenges in accessing retrospective clinical data. Suggestions are made regarding future research and clinical practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry