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  • Stringer 2022 Assessment of non-directed computer-use behaviours in the home

    Rights statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Aging and Mental Health on 30/03/2022, available online:  https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13607863.2022.2036946

    Accepted author manuscript, 642 KB, PDF document

    Embargo ends: 30/03/23

    Available under license: CC BY-NC: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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Assessment of non-directed computer-use behaviours in the home can indicate early cognitive impairment: A proof of principle longitudinal study

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E-pub ahead of print
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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/03/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>Aging and Mental Health
Number of pages10
Publication StatusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date30/03/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Objectives
Computer-use behaviours can provide useful information about an individual’s cognitive and functional abilities. However, little research has evaluated unaided and non-directed home computer-use. In this proof of principle study, we explored whether computer-use behaviours recorded during routine home computer-use i) could discriminate between individuals with subjective cognitive decline (SCD) and individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI); ii) were associated with cognitive and functional scores; and iii) changed over time.

Methods
Thirty-two participants with SCD (n = 18) or MCI (n = 14) (mean age = 72.53 years; female n = 19) participated in a longitudinal study in which their in-home computer-use behaviour was passively recorded over 7–9 months. Cognitive and functional assessments were completed at three time points: baseline; mid-point (4.5 months); and end point (month 7 to 9).

Results
Individuals with MCI had significantly slower keystroke speed and spent less time on the computer than individuals with SCD. More time spent on the computer was associated with better task switching abilities. Faster keystroke speed was associated with better visual attention, recall, recognition, task inhibition, and task switching. No significant change in computer-use behaviour was detected over the study period.

Conclusion
Passive monitoring of computer-use behaviour shows potential as an indicator of cognitive abilities, and can differentiate between people with SCD and MCI. Future studies should attempt to monitor computer-use behaviours over a longer time period to capture the onset of cognitive decline, and thus could inform timely therapeutic interventions.

Bibliographic note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Aging and Mental Health on 30/03/2022, available online:  https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13607863.2022.2036946