Are self-management abilities beneficial for frail older people's cognitive functioning?

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BACKGROUND: Self-management abilities seem to be important for the cognitive functioning of older people, especially those who are frail. We investigated relationships between broad self-management abilities (initiative taking, investment behavior, resource variety, resource multifunctionality, self-efficacy, and positive frame of mind) and cognitive functioning among frail older people while controlling for background characteristics (sex, age, marital status, and educational level). METHOD: Survey data were collected from mid-2014 to mid-2015 from community-dwelling frail older people residing in North Brabant, the Netherlands. We measured cognitive functioning with the 12-item Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE-12) and self-management abilities with the short version of the Self-Management Ability Scale (SMAS-S). RESULTS: In total, 588 of 834 potential participants were willing to participate (70.5% response rate). The mean age was 82.33 ± 5.19 and the majority (68.5%) of respondents were female. About one-third (38.4%) of respondents had low educational levels and 61.7% lived alone. Mean MMSE-12 and SMAS-S scores were 9.68 ± 2.10 and 3.70 ± 0.88, respectively. Bivariate analyses showed that all six self-management abilities were related positively to cognitive functioning. Multivariate analyses with adjustment for background characteristics (sex, age, marital status, and educational level) showed that cognitive functioning was associated positively with initiative taking (β = 0.23, p = 0.030) and investment behavior (β = 0.24, p = 0.030) among community-dwelling frail older people. CONCLUSIONS: This study clearly showed that a repertoire of broad self-management abilities is related to cognitive functioning among community-dwelling frail older people. Initiative taking and investment behavior seem to be especially important. These findings are of interest in a time of populational aging and an increasing number of older people dealing with cognitive problems. Preventive investments in (older) people's self-management abilities are expected to be beneficial for their cognitive functioning in the long term.

Original languageEnglish
Article number694
Pages (from-to)694
Number of pages1
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The implementation of the Finding and Follow-up of Frail older persons approach and the study evaluating it were supported financially by the healthcare organizations TWB Thuiszorg met Aandacht, Stichting Groenhuysen, Stichting tanteLouise-Vivensis, and Zorggroep West-Brabant. They were also financed in part by the health insurers CZ and VGZ. The funding bodies were not involved in the design of the study; collection, analysis, or interpretation of data; or writing of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).


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