Functional Assessment in Latinos with Dementia: A Review of Tools and Cultural Considerations

  • Philip SayeghEmail author
  • Catherine V. Piersol


As the American elderly population continues to grow, so will the number of Latinos living with dementia. A critical aspect of dementia evaluation involves functional assessment, referring to the evaluation of the ability to carry out basic activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs). Functional assessment bears relevance in numerous fashions, including safety and care planning, diagnostic conclusions, treatment planning, and recommendations. A number of questionnaire- and performance-based measures exist to assess the capacity to execute ADLs and IADLs, each possessing their own unique strengths and limitations. However, a number of cultural and linguistic influences can impact the validity of results from these measures, ranging from language barriers to cultural beliefs about illness to shame and stigma, which can alter reporting styles on questionnaires or execution of tasks on performance-based measures. Moreover, the psychometric properties of these measures, as well as translated versions of these measures, need to be considered yet are often overlooked, calling into question the suitability of their use and findings among Latinos. This chapter reviews key issues pertaining to the functional assessment of Latinos with dementia, including the general strengths and limitations of available measures, key cultural and linguistic considerations, and clinical and research recommendations to help improve the accuracy of the functional assessment of Latinos with dementia.


Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) Culture Dementia Functional Assessment Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) Latinos 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Thomas Jefferson UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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