Background: The Prevention Instrument project of the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS) seeks to develop instruments to assess treatment efficacy including potential economic benefit. The Resource Use Inventory (RUI) is an instrument that has been used to capture resource utilization and costs in populations with Alzheimer disease (AD). However, resource utilization and costs for healthy, cognitively intact elderly as they begin to demonstrate cognitive deterioration are not well understood. In addition, the loss that relates to the subjects' own time as they transition through cognitive impairment is not well documented.
Objectives: To evaluate the utility of the RUI in a sample of cognitively intact elderly individuals living in the community and enrolled in AD prevention trials.
Methods: The RUI was administered to 644 subjects and their study partners either at home or in the clinic. For half of each sample, 3-month retesting was carried out. The RUI consisted of 9 questions. The first part of the RUI captured subjects' use of direct medical care (eg, hospitalizations) and nonmedical care (eg, home health aides). The second part of the RUI captured the time caregivers spend providing care to the subjects. The third part of the RUI captured subjects' participation in volunteer work and employment. The assessment interval for each question was the past 3 months.
Results: The percentage of RUI forms returned incomplete or inaccurate for both in-clinic and at-home groups was extremely low. There were no differences in utilization rates between in-clinic and at-home group for all items in the RUI. Except for use of outpatient procedures, tests, or treatments, there were no differences in utilization rates between subjects who filled out the RUI with the help of their study partners or by themselves. Items in the RUI were sensitive to subjects' cognitive and functional status and demographic characteristics.
Conclusions: Home-based completion of the RUI by participants in an AD prevention study is feasible, and seems to provide data that are reliable and valid. The instrument will be useful for tracking resource and time use through transition from healthy to cognitive impairment.