The Quick Dementia Rating System (QDRS): A rapid dementia stagingtool

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Introduction: Test the validity and reliability of the Quick Dementia Rating System (QDRS), a rapid dementia staging tool. Methods: The QDRS was tested in 267 patient-caregiver dyads compared with Clinical Dementia Ratings (CDR), neuropsychological testing, and gold standard measures of function, mood, and behavior. Psychometric properties including, item variability, floor and ceiling effects, concurrent and construct validity, and internal consistency were determined. The QDRS was used to derive an independent CDR and sum-of-boxes (SB). Interscale reliability between QDRS and CDR was tested using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC). Area under the receiver operator characteristic curves (AUC) tested discrimination properties of QDRS across CDR stages. Results: QDRS scores increased with higher CDR staging and poorer neuropsychological performance (Ps<.001). The QDRS demonstrated low floor and ceiling effects; excellent known-groups validity across CDR stages (Ps<.001); construct validity against cognitive, behavioral, and functional measures (Ps 0.004 to <0.001); and reliability (Cronbach α: 0.86-0.93). The QDRS demonstrated differential scores across different dementia etiologies. The AUC for the QDRS was 0.911 (95% confidence interval or CI 0.86-0.96) and for the CDR-SB was 0.996 (95% CI 0.99-1.0) demonstrating comparable ability to discriminate normal controls from dementia. The QDRS-generated CDR demonstrated excellent correspondence with the CDR (ICC=0.90) and SB (ICC=0.92). Discussion: The QDRS validly and reliably differentiates individuals with and without dementia and accurately stages dementia without extensive training or clinician input, and is highly correlated with our gold standard measures. The QDRS provides a rapid method to determine study eligibility, stage patients in clinical practice, and improve case ascertainment in population studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-259
Number of pages11
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment and Disease Monitoring
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical dementia rating
  • Clinical trials
  • Dementia
  • Neurocognitive disorders
  • Staging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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