Recommended measures for the assessment of behavioral disturbances associated with dementia

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Journal Article
American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 2011, 19 (5), pp. 403 - 415
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Objective: The study reviewed all the published instruments used for the assessment, diagnosis, screening, and outcomes monitoring/evaluation of behavioral disturbances associated with dementia (BDAD) to recommend a set of psychometrically valid measures for clinicians and researchers to use, across a range of different practice settings. Methods: The study involved a broad scoping search, followed by a series of in-depth literature reviews on 29 instruments using scientific literature databases (MEDLINE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, and the Cochrane Library) and various national, international government, and government agency websites and professional organization websites. External consultations from measurement, clinical and research experts in dementia care, consumer representatives, and policy/decision makers, were sought in selecting the best instruments and in making the final recommendations. Findings: Key attributes and psychometric properties of a short list of five instruments were measured against prespecified criteria. The Neuropsychiatry Inventory (NPI) and the Behavioral Pathology in Alzheimer's Disease Rating Scale (BEHAVE-AD) were rated as the best measures for assessment of behavioral disturbances, followed by the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease-Behavior Rating Scale for Dementia (CERAD-BRSD), the Dementia Behavior Disturbance Scale, and the Neurobehavioral Rating Scale. Conclusion: The use of valid and standardized outcome measures for the assessment of BDAD is critical for epidemiological studies, prevention, early intervention and treatment of dementia conditions, and funding for relevant healthcare services. The review recommends the NPI and BEHAVE-AD as the most appropriate measures for both clinical and research, whereas the CERAD-BRSD is suited better for research. The review was designed for the Australian context; however, the findings are applicable in other developed countries. © 2011 American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry.
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