Using a patient-reported outcome to improve detection of cognitive impairment and dementia: The patient version of the Quick Dementia Rating System (QDRS)

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Introduction Community detection of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders (ADRD) is a challenge. While Gold Standard assessments are commonly used in research centers, these methods are time consuming, require extensive training, and are not practical in most clinical settings or in community-based research projects. Many of these methods require an informant (e.g., spouse, adult child) to provide ratings of the patients’ cognitive and functional abilities. A patient-reported outcome that captures the presence of cognitive impairment and corresponds to Gold Standard assessments could improve case ascertainment, clinical care, and recruitment into clinical research. We tested the patient version of the Quick Dementia Rating System (QDRS) as a patient-reported outcome to detect MCI and ADRD. Methods The patient QDRS was validated in a sample of 261 consecutive patient-caregiver dyads compared with the informant version of the QDRS, the Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR), neuropsychological tests, and Gold Standard measures of function, behavior, and mood. Psychometric properties including item variability, floor and ceiling effects, construct, concurrent, and known-groups validity, and internal consistency were determined. Results The patient QDRS strongly correlated with Gold Standard measures of cognition, function, mood, behavior, and global staging methods (p-values < .001) and had strong psychometric properties with excellent data quality and internal consistency (Cronbach alpha = 0.923, 95%CI:0.91–0.94). The patient QDRS had excellent agreement with the informant QDRS, the CDR and its sum of boxes (Intraclass Correlation Coefficients: 9.781–0.876). Receiver operator characteristic curves showed excellent discrimination between normal controls from CDR 0.5 (AUC:0.820;95% CI: 0.74–0.90) and for normal controls from any cognitive impairment (AUC:0.885;95% CI: 0.83–0.94). Discussion The patient QDRS validly and reliably differentiates individuals with and without cognitive impairment and can be completed by patients through all stages of dementia. The patient QDRS is highly correlated with Gold Standard measures of cognitive, function, behavior, and global staging. The patient QDRS provides a rapid method to screen patients for MCI and ADRD in clinical practice, determine study eligibility, improve case ascertainment in community studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0240422
JournalPloS one
Issue number10 October
StatePublished - Oct 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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