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Memory appraisals by older people : associated factors and spousal relationship quality

Hanson, Christine Dawn


Christine Dawn Hanson


Chris Clarke


This portfolio thesis has three parts:

Part one is a systematic review of the factors associated with awareness of memory function in older people without dementia. Recent research suggests that subjective memory complaints may precede objective cognitive decline in older people, but whilst several factors have been associated with increased complaints, the pattern of factors associated with actual awareness of memory functioning is less clear. This review focused on the factors associated with memory awareness in people who do not have a diagnosis of dementia. The evidence from 19 papers was critically appraised to consider how several demographic, physiological, psychological and cognitive factors may influence memory appraisal. The independent influence of different factors upon subjective and objective measures of memory was considered, in addition to the overall effect upon memory awareness. The quality of the studies was also evaluated and the strengths and the weaknesses of these papers discussed. The implications of these results are discussed with relevance to clinicians working at the point of assessment and diagnosis of memory conditions.

Part two is an empirical research study which aimed to consider how expressed emotion (a measure of relationship quality) is related to estimates of ability made by couples affected by cognitive impairments. Participants included 46 people with a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s or vascular dementia, and their cognitively healthy spouse. It was found that couples with high expressed emotion (that is a poorer relationship quality) were more likely to disagree about how capable the person with the cognitive impairment is. This result is discussed with relevance to helping couples maintain their relationship quality and with helping them to adjust when one of them develops cognitive difficulties.

Part three comprises the appendixes relating to the research, including a reflective statement on the process of carrying out the research.


Hanson, C. D. (2010). Memory appraisals by older people : associated factors and spousal relationship quality. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Aug 16, 2011
Publicly Available Date Feb 22, 2023
Keywords Medicine; Psychology
Public URL
Additional Information Postgraduate Medical Institute, The University of Hull
Award Date Jul 1, 2010


Thesis (3.7 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2010 Hanson, Christine Dawn. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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