Background: The assessment of the appropriate level of development in children belongs to the standard duties of physicians in the public health system. Due to a steady increase of dementia in Germany the assessment of cognitive abilities of the elderly is becoming more and more the focus of future activities. Such an assessment of cognitive functioning reveals whether the respective person is aging normally or whether the impaired cognitive functioning is probably based on a pathological process. Objective: The aim of the present study is to present cognitive changes in the aged and 2 psychometric tests for the assessment of cognitive functioning: the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS-IV) and the Short Cognitive Performance Test (SKT), a test for the assessment of memory impairments and impairment of attention. In addition, similarities and dissimilarities are presented. Methods: As part of a multi-centre study in German-speaking countries the data of 504 cognitively healthy persons between the age of 60 and 90 were tested with the WAIS-IV and the SKT. Results and conclusion: The results revealed a significant cognitive decline in the fluid and crystal intelligence depending on age. Only 2 subtests of the WAIS-IV (General Information and Block Design) showed no significant variation due to age. The SKT scores of memory and attention correlated significantly with almost all subtests of the WAIS-IV. The highest correlations were between the SKT attention score and the WAIS-IV subtests for processing speed, perceptual reasoning and working memory. The decline in cognitive abilities is mainly due to reduced capacities in speed of information processing and working memory.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health