Purpose: Older adults have an increased likelihood of requiring rehabilitative care due to cognitive and physical risk factors. Research has found a link between executive functioning performance and functional outcomes; however, there is a dearth of research on the assessment of judgement ability. In the current pilot study, we investigated the clinical utility of the Test of Practical Judgment (TOP-J) in an older adult rehabilitation sample.
Methods: Inpatients of mixed diagnoses (n = 25, mean age = 72.60) completed the TOP-J and Functional Independence Measure (FIM). We assessed TOP-J performance in the entire sample and in those with intact vs. impaired global cognition (on the Mini-Mental State Examination; MMSE). Correlational analyses were conducted between the TOP-J, MMSE and relevant FIM items.
Results: TOP-J performance fell between the means typically observed in individuals with mild cognitive impairment and mild Alzheimer's disease. Participants with intact global cognition obtained significantly higher TOP-J scores than those with impaired global cognition. Moderate to strong positive correlations emerged between TOP-J, MMSE and FIM items of problem solving, comprehension and memory.
Conclusions: Results provide support for the clinical utility and validity of the TOP-J among older adults in the rehabilitation setting. Administering the TOP-J may help identify patients at risk for future injury and facilitate role transitions.