Impaired financial abilities in mild cognitive impairment: a direct assessment approach

Neurology. 2003 Feb 11;60(3):449-57. doi: 10.1212/wnl.60.3.449.


Objectives: To assess financial capacity in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) using a standardized psychometric capacity measure.

Methods: Participants were 21 cognitively normal older controls, 21 patients with amnestic MCI, and 22 patients with mild AD. The Financial Capacity Instrument (FCI), a psychometric capacity measure consisting of 18 financial ability tests (tasks), 9 domains (activities), and 2 total scores, was administered to participants along with a battery of neuropsychological tests sensitive to dementia. Group differences were examined on the neuropsychological and financial capacity variables.

Results: Relative to controls, the MCI group demonstrated impairments in episodic memory, and also semantic knowledge, executive function, written arithmetic, and spatial attention. MCI participants demonstrated impairments in FCI domains of conceptual knowledge, cash transactions, bank statement management, and bill payment, and in overall financial capacity. The control and MCI groups performed significantly better than patients with AD on most financial capacity and cognitive measures.

Conclusions: On direct assessment, patients with amnestic MCI as a group demonstrate impairments across a range of financial abilities. These impairments are mild and may only apply to a subset of patients with MCI. However, existing diagnostic criteria for MCI should be applied flexibly to include mild impairments in higher order activities of daily life such as financial capacity.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alabama
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis
  • Alzheimer Disease / economics
  • Alzheimer Disease / etiology
  • Amnesia / etiology
  • Attention
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cognition Disorders / economics*
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Financial Management / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders / complications
  • Memory Disorders / diagnosis
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Psychometrics
  • Reference Values