Development of an international schedule for the assessment and staging of care for dementia

Maya Semrau, Alistair Burns, Slavica Djukic-Dejanovic, Defne Eraslan, Changsu Han, Dusica Lecic-Tosevski, Antonio Lobo, Adriana Mihai, Julie Morris, Claudia Palumbo, Philippe Robert, Gerthild Stiens, Gabriela Stoppe, Umberto Volpe, Marcel Olde Rikkert, Norman Sartorius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: A reliable and valid global staging scale has been lacking within dementia care. Objective: To develop an easy-to-use multi-dimensional clinical staging schedule for dementia. Methods: The schedule was developed through: i) Two series of focus groups (40 and 48 participants, respectively) in Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and UK with a multi-disciplinary group of professionals working within dementia care, to assess the need for a dementia-staging tool and to obtain suggestions on its design and characteristics; ii) A pilot-study over three rounds to test inter-rater reliability of the newly developed schedule using written case histories, with five members of the project's steering committee and 27 of their colleagues from Netherlands, France, and Spain as participants; and iii) A field-study to test the schedule's inter-rater reliability in clinical practice in France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Turkey, South Korea, Romania, and Serbia, which included 209 dementia patients and 217 of their caregivers as participants. Results: Focus group participants indicated a clear need for a culture-fair international dementia staging scale and reached consensus on face validity and content validity. Accordingly, the schedule has been composed of seven dimensions including behavioral, cognitive, physical, functional, social, and care aspects. Overall, the schedule showed adequate face validity, content validity, and inter-rater reliability; in the nine field-sites, intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs; absolute agreement) for individual dimensions ranged between 0.38 and 1.0, with 84.4% of ICCs over 0.7. ICCs for total sum scores ranged between 0.89 and 0.99 in the nine field-sites. Conclusion: The IDEAL schedule looks promising as tool for the clinical and social management of people with dementia globally, though further reliability and validity testing is needed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-151
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's disease : JAD
Issue number1
Early online date2 Sept 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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