Is Medical Environment Detrimental to Memory? A Test of A White Coat Effect on Older People’s Memory Performance

TitleIs Medical Environment Detrimental to Memory? A Test of A White Coat Effect on Older People’s Memory Performance
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of PublicationIn Press
AuthorsSchemmler, M, Desrichard, O
JournalClinical Gerontologist
PaginationAdvance Online Publication
Date Publishedmar
Keywordsaging, memory, memory problem testing, memory self-efficacy, Self-efficacy, white coat effect
Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Test if older people’s memory assessment may be impacted by a medical environment and if memory self-efficacy (MSE) will moderate this effect. METHODS: We evaluated memory performance and MSE in 27 older adults in 2 different settings: a (control) university research environment, or a (proxy-medical) neuropsychological examination environment. RESULTS: The results showed a MSE × environment interaction effect on story-recall performance, with older people with low MSE performing less well in the proxy-medical situation than in the control situation and with elders with high MSE performing better in the proxy-medical situation than in the control situation. The same marginally-significant effect for the word-span task was also found. CONCLUSIONS: Testing in a medical environment undermines the memory performance of older people with low MSE and boosts performance of older people with high MSE. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: We encourage neuropsychologists to pay attention to psychosocial determinants of older people’s performance when assessing their memory abilities.

DOI10.1080/07317115.2017.1307891
Citation Key3176
Refereed DesignationRefereed