Emotional reactions towards perceived loss of function in older Chinese people with dementia

Ada W.T. Fung, Daisy N.Y. Luk, Victor W.C. Lui, Peter W.C. Tam, Rachel C.M. Chau, Vickie W.K. Poon, Clifton H.L. So, Henry W.T. Lo, Flora S.L. Ko, Linda C.W. Lam

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective: To evaluate emotional response towards perceived loss of activities of daily living in Chinese elders with dementia. Patients and Methods: Eighty one elderly people with a clinical diagnosis of dementia were recruited from residential homes and social centre for the elderly in Hong Kong. A purpose-designed questionnaire on subjective evaluation of ability and emotional reactions towards functional deterioration was derived. The association between the subjective evaluation of ability, emotional reactions, and actual activities of daily living performance measured by the Chinese version of Disability Assessment for Dementia was evaluated. Results: There were no significant correlations between subjective evaluation of ability and the emotional reactions towards functional impairment. Subjects reported greater higher emotional distress over possible loss of basic activities of daily living than instrumental activities of daily living (t = 3.04, p = 0.003). Subjects with better basic activities of daily living abilities were likely to report greater distress if their instrumental activities of daily living were impaired (Spearman's rho = 0.30, p = 0.01). Conclusion: Although elderly people with dementia may have compromised cognitive abilities, attention to functional training is an important means of improving their emotional well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-16
Number of pages4
JournalHong Kong Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Activities of daily living
  • Dementia
  • Emotions
  • Frail elderly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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