Characterizing patient dysfunction in alzheimer’s-type dementia

Claudia Krenz, Eric B. Larson, David M. Buchner, Connie G. Canfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although Alzheimer’s-type dementia (ATD) is characterized by global intellectual deterioration, few systematic efforts have been made to characterize overall dysfunction of ATD patients. The Sickness Impact Profile (SIP) was administered to ATD patients and family members to determine the concurrent validity of family member assessments of functional status. Using the Mini-Mental State score and modified Dementia Rating Scale as validation criteria, family member SIP scores showed consistently higher correlations with the Mini-Mental State and modified Dementia Rating Scale than did patient scores. Comparing family member SIP scores for ATD and nonde- mented patients revealed that ATD patients maintained high levels of psychosocial dysfunction at both initial evaluation and 1-year follow-up. By contrast, ATD patients showed high levels of physical dysfunction relative to nonde- mented patients only at follow-up. Physical deterioration over time is also suggested by comparison of ATD patient initial and follow-up scores. This study documents the well-known psychosocial dysfunction in ATD and emphasizes the importance of physical dysfunction as the disease progresses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)453-461
Number of pages9
JournalMedical Care
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1988


  • Alzheimer’s dementia
  • Functional status
  • Sickness impact profile

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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