Alison McKinlay

Doctor of Philosophy, (Psychology)
Study Completed: 2016
College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Citation

Thesis Title
Where Did I Park My Car?: A Mixed Methods Investigation on Mild Cognitive Impairment Diagnosis in New Zealand

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Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a condition that labels symptoms of cognitive decline, such as objective memory loss. More people are being clinically diagnosed with early-stage cognitive impairment; however, no formal research had been conducted in New Zealand on delivering or receiving MCI diagnosis. Ms McKinlay’s research involved specialist practitioners who deliver diagnosis and clients who had recently been diagnosed. She found that symptoms of cognitive impairment are labelled differently in clinical practice, and despite uncertainty around the label and prognosis, most people receiving the diagnosis were optimistic. Many responded by making plans for the future, using social support, and taking up activities that may improve cognitive health. Contrary to some international literature, participants did not conceptualise their diagnosis as an illness entity, but a chance to learn more about cognition in older adulthood. This research highlights variations in practice and experience associated with an evolving form of clinical diagnosis.

Supervisors
Professor Janet Leathem
Associate Professor Paul Merrick

Publications

McKinlay, A., Leathem, J., & Merrick, P. (2014). Diagnostic processes and disclosure: A survey of practitioners diagnosing cognitive impairment. New Zealand Journal of Psychology. 43(2), 20-31.

McKinlay, AR., Leathem, JM., & Merrick, PL. (2014). Practitioners' processes and attitudes involved in the diagnosis of cognitive impairment. In New Zealand Psychological Society Annual Conference: Ka tū, ka oho - Te matai hinengaro me te ao hou: Psychology in a Changing World(pp. 38 - 38). , New Zealand Psychological Society Annual Conference New Zealand: New Zealand Psychological Society.

McKinlay, AR., Leathem, J., & Merrick, P. (2012). PeArLS : 'Where did I park my car?': How do older adults cope with a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment. In New Zealand Psychological Society and New Zealand College of Clinical Psychologists Joint Conference: Standing Together as One: Programme and Abstracts(pp. 48 - 48). , New Zealand Psychological Society and New Zealand College of Clinical Psychologists Joint Conference: Standing Together as One New Zealand: New Zealand Psychological Society.

McKinlay, AR., Leathem, JM., & Merrick, PL. (2011). "Where did I park my car?" How do older adults cope with a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment. Poster session presented at the meeting of New Zealand Inaugural Stroke and Applied Neurosciences Conference (NZSANC). Auckland, New Zealand.

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