Congratulations to Drs. Okun and Bowers on the publication of “Everyday functioning in Parkinson’s disease: Evidence from the Revised-Observed Tasks of Daily Living (OTDL-R)” in the September edition of Parkinsonism & Related Disorders.
Performance tasks are presumed to have greater validity than rating scales in assessing day-to-day behaviors in Parkinson’s disease (PD). One such task is the revised Observed Tasks of Daily Living (OTDL-R), which has been used extensively in healthy older adults, and but not yet empirically examined in PD. Thus, the aims of the current study were to examine and determine the impact of cognitive, motor, and mood symptoms on OTDL-R performance in PD.
Nineteen non-demented PD patients and 18 healthy older adults (HC) were administered measures of mood and cognitive functioning, and the OTDL-R (subtests include medication and telephone use, and medication management). Clinical severity of PD was assessed using the H&Y stage, UPDRS, and Schwab and England functional disability scores.
Mann Whitney U tests indicated the PD patients were significantly slower to complete the OTDL-R and performed worse on only the telephone use subtest, relative to the HC group. In the PD group, hierarchical regression analyses revealed memory, attention, and initiative/perseveration were uniquely associated with the financial management subtest, after controlling for motor severity (ps < .05). No other significant relationships were found.
PD patients were slower to complete the OTDL-R, but only less accurate on the telephone use subtest. Poor performance on the telephone use subtest may be related to motor severity, while poor performance on the financial management subtest was related to attention and working memory. Overall, the findings warrant future investigation to determine the validity and reliability of the OTDL-R in PD.