OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the feasibility, usability and clinical value of daily diary assessments combined with actigraphy in older persons with cognitive impairment.
METHODS: For 63 days, patients ≥60 years with cognitive impairments filled out a daily diary (including standardized questionnaires and cognitive test battery), and wore an actiwatch (sleep). After the study, participants and clinicians received personal feedback about patterns and daily triggers of depressive symptoms, sleep and cognitive performance. We assessed feasibility (participation rate, compliance and subjective burden), usability (variability and floor- or ceiling effects) and clinical value for patients and their clinicians (questionnaires).
RESULTS: Of 96 eligible patients, 13 agreed to participate (13.5%). One patient dropped out after 2 days, another after 37 days, and another did not complete the cognitive test battery. Compliance rate was high (6.7-10% missing values). Subjective burden was relatively low. Time-series data showed sufficient variability and no floor- or ceiling effects, except for one relevant ceiling effect on the One Back task. The personal feedback report was considered insightful by 4 out of 11 participants and 5 out of 7 clinicians.
CONCLUSION: Daily assessments are suitable for a minority of cognitively impaired older persons, but is helpful to increase insight into their symptoms.