Embedded Online Questionnaire Measures Are Sensitive to Identifying Mild Cognitive Impairment

Adriana Seelye, Nora Mattek, Diane B. Howieson, Daniel Austin, Katherine Wild, Hiroko H. Dodge, Jeffrey A. Kaye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background/Aims: Early changes in cognitively demanding daily activities occur between normal cognition and the development of mild cognitive impairment (MCI). These real-world functional changes as early signals of cognitive change form a prime target for meaningful early detection of dementia. We examined whether passive aspects of responding to a remotely monitored weekly online questionnaire discriminated between older adults with and without MCI. Methods: Participants were 83 independent, community-dwelling older adults enrolled in a longitudinal study of in-home monitoring technologies, which included completion of a short weekly online questionnaire of health and life events. Results: In longitudinal analyses, time to complete the online questionnaire decreased over 1 year in both MCI and cognitively intact participants (P<0.01). MCI and intact participants did not differ in the time of day they submitted their questionnaires initially; however, over the course of 1 year MCI participants began to submit their questionnaires progressively later in the day and they needed greater assistance from staff as compared with intact participants (P<0.05). The online questionnaire performance measures were significantly correlated to conventional cognitive test scores (P<0.05) across the spectrum of normal cognition to MCI. Conclusions: Ambiently assessed, passive performance measures embedded within an online questionnaire are able to discriminate between normal cognition and MCI. Remote monitoring of cognitively demanding routine daily activities is a promising approach for ecologically valid real-world cognitive assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)152-159
Number of pages8
JournalAlzheimer disease and associated disorders
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported by the National Institutes of Health Grants AG024978, AG024059, and AG023477,P30AG008017, and AG042191.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • aging
  • cognitive assessment
  • cognitive impairment
  • computer use
  • early detection
  • everyday functioning
  • everyday technology
  • real-world settings
  • remote monitoring


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