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Feasibility of Retrospective Assessments of Behavioral Symptoms in Alzheimer's Disease: A Preliminary Study of Postmortem Caregiver Reports

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 January 2005

John P. Bolger
Affiliation:
University Alzheimer Center, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Milton E. Strauss
Affiliation:
University Alzheimer Center, Cleveland, Ohio, USA Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
John S. Kennedy
Affiliation:
Division of Geriatric Psychiatry, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.

Abstract

Studies of the behavioral symptoms in Alzheimer's disease (AD) would be facilitated if reliable reports could be obtained retrospectively, especially about symptoms in the final months of life when concurrent assessment is often not feasible. To evaluate such a method, we compared results of a telephone interview conducted after the patient's death with information provided by the same informant earlier, while the patient was living. Agreement between in-life and retrospective assessments was higher for psychotic symptoms than for depressive behaviors, suggesting that retrospective assessment of specific behavioral symptoms in AD is not uniformly reliable. More symptoms were retrospectively reported as the length of time between the last in-life evaluation and date of death increased, suggesting that there may be increased variety of behavioral symptoms observed by caregivers in the final stages of the disease.

Type
Dementia
Copyright
© 1998 International Psychogeriatric Association

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Feasibility of Retrospective Assessments of Behavioral Symptoms in Alzheimer's Disease: A Preliminary Study of Postmortem Caregiver Reports
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