Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Thesis defense Liesbeth Joosten-Weyn Banningh (Donders Series 88)

Learning to live with Mild Cognitive Impairment: development and evaluation of a psychological intervention for patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment and their significant others

Mild cognitive impairment  (MCI) is characterized by cognitive deficits in the context of normal daily functioning. It is a known risk factor for the development of dementia, with prospective longitudinal studies reporting annual MCI-dementia conversion rates of 10% to up to 15%.  In this thesis consequences of MCI were studied and a psychological intervention to enhance the adaptation of the patients and their significant others has been developed and evaluated. Our studies showed that living with MCI means living with an uncertain label, which has psychological and social adverse consequences in daily life. Our multicomponent psychological group intervention supports coping with this condition, and prepares the couples for the future. Acceptance of the MCI condition was heightened in the MCI patients. Based on the results of the thesis, the programme is recommended specifically to MCI patients with heightened levels of helplessness, lack of insight, avoidant behaviour, increasing social conflicts of negative changes in mood.