DAD-6: A 6-ltem version of the Disability Assessment for Dementia scale which may differentiate Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment from controls

Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2012;33(2-3):210-8. doi: 10.1159/000338232. Epub 2012 May 14.


Background: The need to detect early changes in instrumental activities of daily life led us to modify the Disability Assessment for Dementia Scale (DAD) by focusing on executive components of 6 instrumental items (DAD-6).

Aim: To evaluate the relevance of the DAD-6 for detecting early impairment in a nondemented population.

Methods: The DAD-6 was administered to informants of 84 patients: 31 with mild dementia (MD), 53 with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and 55 healthy controls.

Results: DAD-6 scores gradually decreased with increasing severity of the cognitive status [18 in healthy controls vs. 15.1 ± 3.2 in MCI versus 9.6 ± 3.5 in MD, p < 0.0001). Receiver-operating characteristic curve analyses yielded an optimal cut score of 14 to distinguish MCI from MD with a sensitivity of 0.83 (95% confidence interval 0.74-0.92) and a specificity of 0.84 (0.71-0.94), and a cut score of 15 to distinguish single-domain MCI from multi-domain MCI with a sensitivity of 0.96 (0.90-0.99) and a specificity of 0.54 (0.33-0.75).

Conclusion: The DAD-6 reliably detects early loss of autonomy due to cognitive impairment.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease* / complications
  • Alzheimer Disease* / diagnosis
  • Alzheimer Disease* / psychology
  • Cognition Disorders* / diagnosis
  • Cognition Disorders* / etiology
  • Cognition Disorders* / psychology
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Executive Function*
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Competency
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • ROC Curve
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires