Assessing cognition in people with mental illnesses & concurring alcohol & substance abuse. Dr Karen Heslop RN
The primary aim of this study was to determine whether participants with mental illness and drug and alcohol misuse show poorer cognitive abilities compared to participants without mental illness. Significant group differences were found in cognitive functioning with participants without mental illness, outperforming clinical participants in all domains. Similar results were also found in computerised tasks that involve cognitive processes related to speed of processing, attention, verbal and visual memory, planning and reasoning. The results of this study support the use of assessments of cognitive functioning using traditional assessments and computerised tasks in patients with mental illness and drug and alcohol misuse . These tasks, which can be carried out at the bedside by nurses using portable electronic devices, were shown to be sensitive, allowing clinicians to tailor interventions to an individual’s level of functioning.