The Caregiver Activity Survey (CAS): Development and validation of a new measure for caregivers of persons with Alzheimer's disease

Kenneth L. Davis, Deborah B. Marin, Robert Kane, Donald Patrick, Elaine R. Peskind, Murray A. Raskind, Katherine L. Puder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

144 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background. Most instruments that measure the impairments associated with Alzheimer's disease assess symptom severity. Little attention has been paid to the illness's impact on the time formal and informal caregivers spend caring for Alzheimer's individuals. A tool that measures the time spent caregiving would help to determine the economic impact of the illness. The Caregiver Activity Survey (CAS) was developed to measure the time caregivers spend aiding Alzheimer's patients with their day-to-day activities. Methods. The test-retest reliability of the CAS was assessed during a 3-week study with 42 Alzheimer's patients and their caregivers. The CAS was validated with the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale Cognitive Subscale (ADAS-Cog), the Mini Mental State Exam (MMSE) and the Physical Self Maintenance Scale (PSMS). Results. The final version of the CAS consists of six items (communicating with the person, using transportation, eating, dressing, looking after one's appearance and supervising the person). The six-item CAS total score has high test-retest reliability, with ICC = 0.88 between weeks 1 and 3. The scale has strong convergent validity with the ADAS-Cog (r = 0.61), MMSE (r = -0.57) and PSMS (r = 0.43). Efforts to include a dimension that reflects caregiver burden were not successful, in part due to the reluctance of caregivers to acknowledge that caregiving is bothersome. Conclusions. The CAS provides a new tool that measures time spent caring for Alzheimer's individuals. The instrument may be used to augment existing clinical assessments that measure the efficacy of potentially therapeutic agents for persons with Alzheimer's disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)978-988
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Volume12
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 1997

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's
  • Assessment
  • Caregiver time

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