Kelsey Thomas receives PhD degree

Published: August 12th, 2016

Category: Archived News, Students

krt1Our valued colleague, Kelsey Thomas PhD, received her degree at UF’s Doctoral Commencement on 8/5/2016.

Kelsey is a valued colleague.  While at UF, her dissertation research focused on measuring everyday problem solving and decision making in older adults. From her dissertation abstract, “Performance-based measures of everyday cognition offer a unique view into how cognitive functioning can impact everyday functioning in older adults.  While a number of performance-based measures have been developed previously, the present study called Characterization of the Elderly on Daily Activities in the Real-world (CEDAR), examined a new measure comprised of eight complex everyday tasks.  The CEDAR tasks were primarily in the domains of health and financial management and were designed to not only capture total performance (Accuracy) and total Time, but also more process-specific subscales (Self-Monitoring, Decision Efficiency, and Fluency) and  individual error types.  Participants (n=101) were administered the CEDAR tasks as well as neuropsychological and self-report measures.  Overall, the CEDAR tasks appear to be well-suited for use in a wide range of older adults, and are highly related to neuropsychological measures (particularly working memory and reasoning). There were high error rates (Task-general, Task-specific, Omission, Commission, Critical, Non-Critical), even in a sample of generally healthy older adults.  The CEDAR tasks are also strongly associated with measures of self-reported Functional Difficulty (predictive validity) and another measure of everyday cognition (Everyday Problems Test; concurrent validity).”

Kelsey also published several papers looking at the effect of prompting on everyday cognitive performance in older adults in the ACTIVE clinical trial; her papers looked at how cognitive impairment and race might moderate the effects of prompting.

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Kelsey completed her internship in Summer 2016 with the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS)/UCSD Psychology Internship Training Program in San Diego, CA. She worked in both VA Neuropsychological Assessment Unit and University of California-San Diego Outpatient Psychiatry. Beginning in late summer 2016, Kelsey begins a Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System Postdoctoral Residency Program in Neuropsychology. Her research focus (supervisor: Mark Bondi, PhD)is on the study of aging and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) utilizing multiple study cohorts—including the UC San Diego Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) and multiple NIA-, VA- and private foundation-funded longitudinal studies of aging, Mild Cognitive Impairment, and AD. Research will integrate neuropsychological, biomarker, genetic and neuroimaging data as well as functional measures, psychosocial outcomes, and medical histories with the goal of improving early detection of MCI and AD and its ability to predict clinical outcomes.

Congratulations, Kelsey! You will be missed!