Joan Toglia, Orit Lahav, Eynat Ben Ari, Rachel Kizony; Adult Age and Cultural Differences in Performance on the Weekly Calendar Planning Activity (WCPA). Am J Occup Ther 2017;71(5):7105270010p1-7105270010p8. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2016.020073.
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© 2018 American Occupational Therapy Association
OBJECTIVE. We compared performance on a cognitively demanding task, the Weekly Calendar Planning Activity, of participants in three age groups and two countries (United States and Israel).
METHOD. A sample of 375 U.S. and 433 Israeli healthy adults participated. During the activity, participants were observed for speed, accuracy, strategy use, and efficiency.
RESULTS. Accuracy scores were similar in both countries; however, Israeli participants were slower and less efficient (p < .05). The younger and middle-aged Israeli groups were more strategic and the older Israeli group followed fewer rules than the corresponding U.S. groups (p < .05). Older participants in both countries were less accurate, efficient, and strategic than younger participants (p < .05).
CONCLUSION. Limited strategy use and poor time allocation may contribute to difficulty managing cognitively demanding activities for older adults and may also be influenced by culture. Practitioners should consider these factors when screening people for occupational performance difficulties.
Cross-cultural normative data for the WCPA provided by this study can aid occupational therapy practitioners in interpreting higher ranges of everyday cognitive functioning.
Data on typical adult performance across three age groups for the WCPA provide a foundation to enhance occupational therapy practitioners’ ability to identify subtle difficulties clients experience in cognitively demanding activities and screen for those who may be at risk for occupational performance deficits.
Methods to improve strategy use and time allocation may help clients across ages and cultures manage cognitively demanding activities.
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