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Are persons with cognitive impairment able to state consistent choices?

Purpose: This study examined the decision-making capacity of persons with cognitive impairment with respect to their everyday care preferences and choices. This is the first in a series of articles to report on findings from a larger study that examines choice, decision making, values, preferences, and practices in everyday care for community-dwelling persons with cognitive impairment and their family caregivers. Design and Methods: Fifty-one respondent pairs, or dyads, were interviewed, that is, persons with cognitive impairment (n = 51) and their family caregivers (n = 51). All persons with cognitive impairment were interviewed twice within a week using a parallel interview to determine stability and accuracy of responses. The family caregiver was interviewed once. Results:Persons with mild to moderate cognitive impairment (i.e., Mini-Mental State Exam scores 13–26) are able to respond consistently to questions about preferences, choices, and their own involvement in decisions about daily living, and to provide accurate and reliable responses to questions about demographics. Implications: Including the perspective of persons with cognitive impairment in both research and practice has the potential to enhance their autonomy and improve their quality of life.

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Social care online
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