Published online by Cambridge University Press: 10 January 2005
There is increasing awareness of the importance of psychopathological and behavioral changes in dementia and a need for a technique to measure these noncognitive features. Such a schedule should keep screening questions to a minimum, include a severity measure, exclude symptoms resulting from physical illness, be as brief as possible, and not mix domains of psychopathology. To test the reliability, sensitivity, and validity of a newly developed test, 30 carers were interviewed four times during 6 weeks. An obligatory stem question in each category was followed by supplementary questions. The interviewer recorded the presence of each symptom, its severity, when each symptom started, its duration, and whether it was still present. To detect the presence of delusions, the informant was asked about the patient's insight. Satisfactory differences in mean κ values were demonstrated in test-retest and interrater reliability and validity compared with other techniques. This test may be useful to measure the outcome of drug trials, for correlating psychopathological and behavioral changes with autopsy findings and in epidemiological surveys.