Demonstration of Clinical Meaningfulness of the Integrated Alzheimer's Disease Rating Scale (iADRS): Association Between Change in iADRS Scores and Patient and Caregiver Health Outcomes

J Alzheimers Dis. 2022;88(2):577-588. doi: 10.3233/JAD-220303.


Background: The integrated Alzheimer's Disease Rating Scale (iADRS) is a validated cognitive/functional composite that effectively captures cognitive and functional decline over a broad spectrum of disease. The clinical meaningfulness of change on iADRS can be supported by establishing an association with changes on important health outcome measures.

Objective: To evaluate the relationship between change on the iADRS and changes in health outcomes in individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) due to Alzheimer's disease (AD), or mild or moderate AD dementia using placebo data from four AD clinical trials and data from one AD observational study.

Methods: Analysis of covariate (ANCOVA) models were used to estimate the relationship between 18-month change on the iADRS and changes on health outcome measures (related to cost, quality of life, and caregiver burden). The regression coefficients for the iADRS were used to compute impact of natural disease progression and disease-modifying treatment on health outcomes. Additional ANCOVAs were conducted to understand whether cognition and/or function was the underlying explanation of any association between iADRS and health outcome change.

Results: Across datasets and disease stages, a worsening on the iADRS was significantly associated with increased societal costs, caregiver burden (time and distress) and worsening in measures of patient quality of life.

Conclusion: Decline on the iADRS was associated with worsening in health outcome measures. These findings suggest that the iADRS can be used in clinical trials as a proxy measure of clinically meaningful outcomes of AD progression.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; care burden; global burden of disease; outcome assessment (health care); outcome measures; patient relevant outcome.

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease* / drug therapy
  • Caregivers / psychology
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Cognitive Dysfunction* / psychology
  • Humans
  • Observational Studies as Topic
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Quality of Life