The Relationship Between Hallucinations and Visuospatial Impairment Among Individuals with Dementia
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Objective: This study examines the neuropsychological functioning, specifically using the Hooper Visual Organization Test (VOT), to understand the impact of hallucinations on the level of impairment in the visuospatial domain. Method: Archival data obtained over three years from a total of 73 patients from the Health First Memory Disorder Clinic was used in this study. Participants were included in the study if they endorsed experiencing hallucinations, were given the VOT during their brief neuropsychological evaluation, and were diagnosed with dementia or unspecified neurocognitive disorder. The patient’s electronic medical record was used to retrospectively gather additional details regarding their hallucinations and fall history to serve as data points. Results: Results showed no significant difference between the presence of hallucinations and visuospatial impairment. Additionally, there was no significant correlation between visuospatial skills, age, or global cognitive functioning. However, there was a statistically significant, moderately positive correlation between the VOT and Clock Drawing test, though not the BVMT-R copy trial. Lastly, there was no significant difference between poor visuospatial skills and an increased risk of falls. Conclusion: The overall results of this study suggest that a history of hallucinations does not seem to impact whether the visuospatial domain, as measured by the VOT, is impaired. Additionally, advancing age, more severe global cognitive impairment, and a history of falls do not appear to be related to more significant visuospatial impairment.