Reduced quality-of-life ratings in mild cognitive impairment: analyses of subject and informant responses

Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2012 Dec;20(12):1016-25. doi: 10.1097/JGP.0b013e31826ce640.


Objectives: To determine whether quality-of-life (QOL) ratings are reduced in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and analyze correlations between QOL ratings and cognitive, neuropsychiatric, and functional indices in MCI.

Design: Cross-sectional.

Setting: The Easton Center for Alzheimer's Disease Research at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Participants: A total of 205 individuals who met criteria for normal cognition (n = 97) or MCI (n = 108). The MCI group included amnestic (n = 72) and nonamnestic (n = 36) MCI.

Measurements: QOL was assessed using subject and informant ratings on the Quality of Life-Alzheimer's Disease (QOL-AD) scale. Cognitive performance was assessed with the National Alzheimer's Disease Coordinating Center Uniform Data Set neuropsychological battery. Neuropsychiatric symptoms were assessed with the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) and the Neuropsychiatric Inventory. Functional abilities were assessed with the Functional Activities Questionnaire (FAQ).

Results: The normal cognition group had significantly higher QOL-AD scores than the MCI group on both subject and informant assessments. Individual item analyses indicated that the largest group differences were seen on the mood and memory items. Similar QOL-AD scores were seen in the amnestic and nonamnestic MCI subgroups. Multiple regression analyses within the MCI group indicated that QOL-AD ratings were not correlated with neuropsychological performance. Subject QOL-AD ratings were inversely correlated with GDS scores and informant QOL-AD ratings were inversely correlated with GDS, Neuropsychiatric Inventory, and FAQ scores.

Conclusions: Significant declines in QOL are seen in MCI and are associated with neuropsychiatric symptoms and functional decline. Interventions targeting mood symptoms and/or instrumental activities of daily living may improve QOL in MCI.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Affect*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dementia / psychology*
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Humans
  • Los Angeles
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Surveys and Questionnaires