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J Geriatr Psychiatry Neurol. 2000 Winter;13(4):161-9.

Review of outcome measurement instruments in Alzheimer's disease drug trials: introduction.

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Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Community Studies, Jewish General Hospital, Department of Epidemiology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec.


This article introduces a four-part series on outcome scales used in Alzheimer's disease drug trials. First, it discusses the division of scales into four domains: cognition, functional ability/quality of life, behavior/mood, and global. Within each domain, the shortcomings of existing literature reviews are outlined, and the need for a more coherent view of the psychometric properties of the scales is emphasized. Second, the key concepts of reliability, validity, and responsiveness to change are defined and explained. This explanation also provides an overview of the statistical techniques used to assess measurement properties. Finally, the methods used to select the scales for review in the subsequent articles are explained, and each article is briefly introduced.

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