Role of anxiety, depression and neurocognition for cognitive behavioural therapy pre-therapy skills in people living with dementia, older and younger adults✰

Joshua Stott*, Tim Cadman, Katrina Scior, Janina Brede, Georgina Charlesworth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
141 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Anxiety and depression are common in people living with dementia (PLWD) and Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) seems to be one of the few efficacious interventions. However, PLWD's ability to engage with CBT has been questioned due to the presumed impact of neurocognitive impairment on core skills necessary to engage with CBT (pre-therapy skills). Here, we (i) compare CBT pre-therapy skills in PLWD to older and younger adults (OA, YA), (ii) examine potential confounders and mediators and (iii) explore associations of neurocognition, anxiety and depression with pre-therapy skills in PLWD.

METHODS: Pre-therapy skills were compared between PLWD (n = 102), OA (n = 77) and YA (n = 56). Structural equation modelling was used to assess mediators and confounders of differences in pre-therapy skills between groups. Spearman's rank correlations were used to examine the relationship of pre-therapy skills with neurocognition and mood in PLWD.

RESULTS: Group differences in pre-therapy skills were found, following the pattern YA>OA>PLWD. Neurocognition mediated the difference between OA and PLWD. In PLWD, language was associated with performance on all skills. There was little evidence that anxiety or depression contributed to variability in skill performance within PLWD.

LIMITATIONS: Cross-sectional design limited ability to ascertain cause and effect. Pre-therapy skill measures have not been used in the context of actual CBT; consequently, their relationship with CBT outcomes needs to be established.

CONCLUSIONS: PLWD may have a relative difficulty in CBT pre-therapy skills. Yet, there seems to be substantial variability of skill level, independent of mood. Therefore, mild dementia does not necessarily preclude CBT readiness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1022-1029
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume276
Early online date20 Jul 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • Dementia
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy
  • Neurocognition
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mood

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