Development of an UPSA Short Form for Use in Longitudinal Studies in the Early Alzheimer’s Disease Spectrum

T. E. Goldberg, P. D. Harvey, D. P. Devanand, R. S.E. Keefe, Jesus J. Gomar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: In individuals with only mild or very mild cognitive attenuations (i.e., so-called pre-clinical AD), performance-based measures of function may be superior to informant-based measures because of increased sensitivity, greater reliability, and fewer ceiling effects. Objective: We sought to determine if a performance-based measure of everyday function would demonstrate adequate psychometric properties and validity in the context of serial assessment over a one-year period in patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and early stage Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Design: Participants were assessed with the performance-based measure at baseline, six weeks, and one year. Setting: A specialized center for the assessment and treatment of AD. Participants: Three groups of subjects participated: a healthy subjects (HS) older cognitively intact group (N=43), an MCI group (N=20), and an AD group (N=26). Measurements: A three subtest short form of the UCSD Performance-Based Skills Assessment (UPSA) (called the UPSA-3) was the measure of interest. It consisted of the Communication, Planning, and Finance subtests. RESULTS: Mixed model repeated measures were used to assess performance over time. Large group effects were present (HS>MCI>AD). Additionally, the AD and MCI groups demonstrated declines over one year, while the HS group remained stable (group x time interaction p=.11). The MCI/AD group demonstrated adequate test-retest reliability and did not demonstrate ceiling or floor effects. Conclusion: Our data indicate that the UPSA-3 is suitable for clinical trials in that it has adequate ecological coverage and reasonable psychometric properties, and perhaps most importantly, demonstrates validity in serial assessments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-183
Number of pages5
JournalThe journal of prevention of Alzheimer's disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Mild Cognitive Impairment
  • UPSA
  • everyday function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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