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J Aging Health. 2017 Oct;29(7):1144-1159. doi: 10.1177/0898264316654674. Epub 2016 Jun 22.

Associations Between Fine Motor Performance in Activities of Daily Living and Cognitive Ability in a Nondemented Sample of Older Adults: Implications for Geriatric Physical Rehabilitation.

Author information

1
1 Utah State University, Logan, Logan, UT, USA.
2
2 Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA.
3
3 Jönköping University, Sweden.
4
4 University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Fine motor ability (FMA) is essential in certain activities of daily living (ADL) and is considered mostly as a component of physical function. We hypothesize that cognitive ability explains significant variance in ADL-related FMA, above and beyond what is explained by physical ability (grip strength).

METHOD:

Origins of Variance in the Old Old Study (OCTO)-Twin participants ( n = 218), aged 80+ (dementia, stroke, Parkinson's disease excluded) were assessed on depressive symptoms (Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale [CES-D]), a cognitive battery, grip strength, and FMA.

RESULTS:

In a series of ordinary least squares regression models, FMA was not associated with gender or depressive symptoms, but was associated with age (marginally; β = -.164, p = .051), grip strength (β = -.381, p < .01), and one cognitive measure, perceptual speed (β = -.249, p < .01).

DISCUSSION:

In nondemented older adults, cognitive speed predicts ADL-related FMA after controlling for age and physical ability. Physical rehabilitation of FMA in ADL tasks should consider the importance of cognitive ability, even in nondemented older adults.

KEYWORDS:

cognitive ability; disablement; fine motor ability; functional ability; grip strength

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