Assessment of Dentally Related Function in Individuals with Cognitive Impairment: The Dental Activities Test.
OBJECTIVES: To develop and validate the Dental Activities Test (DAT), a clinical tool for measuring dentally related function in cognitively impaired older adults. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study design. SETTING: Three assisted living residences in North Carolina. PARTICIPANTS: Assisted living residents with normal to impaired cognition aged 50 and older; not blind, deaf, or severely physically disabled; and English speaking (N = 90). MEASUREMENTS: Items for the DAT were developed based on focus group discussions, literature review, and clinical relevance. Cronbach alpha, interrater reliability, and test-retest reliability were examined, and construct validity was assessed in relation to correlations with cognitive and functional assessments. Correlations between the DAT and oral health measures were also analyzed to evaluate the concurrent validity of the DAT. RESULTS: The DAT has excellent internal consistency reliability (Cronbach alpha 0.90), test-retest reliability (correlation coefficient (r) = 0.84), and interrater reliability (r = 0.90). In terms of construct validity, higher DAT scores were significantly associated with better cognitive function, as well as better activity of daily living and instrumental activity of daily living function. Finally, the DAT was significantly associated with oral hygiene and gingival health. CONCLUSION: The DAT is a reliable and valid instrument to measure dentally-related function in older adults with cognitive impairment.
Chen, X; Zimmerman, S; Potter, GG; Sloane, PD; Cohen, LW; Reed, D
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