Naturalistic assessment of everyday activities and prompting technologies in mild cognitive impairment

Adriana M. Seelye, Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe, Diane J. Cook, Aaron Crandall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Abstract Older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) often have difficulty performing complex instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), which are critical to independent living. In this study, amnestic multi-domain MCI (N = 29), amnestic single-domain MCI (N = 18), and healthy older participants (N = 47) completed eight scripted IADLs (e.g., cook oatmeal on the stove) in a smart apartment testbed. We developed and experimented with a graded hierarchy of technology-based prompts to investigate both the amount of prompting and type of prompts required to assist individuals with MCI in completing the activities. When task errors occurred, progressive levels of assistance were provided, starting with the lowest level needed to adjust performance. Results showed that the multi-domain MCI group made more errors and required more prompts than the single-domain MCI and healthy older adult groups. Similar to the other two groups, the multi-domain MCI group responded well to the indirect prompts and did not need a higher level of prompting to get back on track successfully with the tasks. Need for prompting assistance was best predicted by verbal memory abilities in multi-domain amnestic MCI. Participants across groups indicated that they perceived the prompting technology to be very helpful. (JINS, 2013, 19, 1-11)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-452
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2013


  • Aging
  • Dementia
  • Ecological assessment
  • Instrumental activities of daily living
  • Rehabilitation
  • Smart environment technologies


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