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Participation in voluntary work and cognitive decline: a longitudinal analysis in the aging population

Helden, Guusje van (2024) Participation in voluntary work and cognitive decline: a longitudinal analysis in the aging population. Master's Research Project 1, Biomedical Sciences.


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As the global population ages, dementia prevalence increases, posing significant challenges. While age is the primary unmodifiable risk factor for dementia, there are several modifiable risk factors associated with maintaining a social, physical and cognitive active life. Participation in voluntary work might address these aspects. Therefore, this research aims to investigate the relationship between participation in voluntary work and cognitive decline among older adults and whether this association is moderated by age, sex and education.Longitudinal data from a subcohort of the Lifelines Dutch cohort study (DALAS), including adults aged 60-80 years, was used. The Cogstate Brief Battery (CBB) was used to measure cognitive decline. Participation in voluntary work was measured using the DALAS questionnaire. Univariable and multivariable linear regression was performed. No significant association was found between participation in voluntary work and the CBB decline measures. The association between participation in voluntary work and OCL decline was moderated by education. This study shows that participation in voluntary work is not associated with cognitive decline among older adults. No robust evidence was found that age, sex or educational attainment moderates this relationship. This conclusion should be interpreted with caution, as a recent study questioned the responsiveness of the CBB. This highlights the need for alternative assessment.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Research Project 1)
Supervisor name: Smidt, N.
Degree programme: Biomedical Sciences
Thesis type: Master's Research Project 1
Language: English
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2024 08:51
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2024 08:51

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