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Development of a functional measure for persons with Alzheimer’s disease: the disability assessment for dementia.

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OBJECTIVES: This article describes the development of an assessment of functional disability for use with proxy-respondents of community-dwelling persons who have Alzheimer’s disease as well as a study testing its reliability.

METHOD: Panels composed of health care professionals and caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s disease were used to develop the Disability Assessment for Dementia (DAD). Fifty-nine caregivers participated in the refinement of the content and the testing of reliability.

RESULTS: The DAD includes 40 items: 17 related to basic self-care and 23 to instrumental activities of daily living. It demonstrated a high degree of internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha = .96) and excellent interrater (N = 31, ICC = .95) and test-retest (N = 45, ICC = .96) reliability. In addition, it was found not to have gender bias.

CONCLUSION: This instrument may help clinicians and caregivers of the population with Alzheimer’s disease make decisions regarding the choice of suitable interventions.

Source: Am J Occup Ther 1999 Sep-Oct;53(5):471-81

PMID: 10500855, UI: 99430642

(School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.)

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