Comparison of caregiver and occupational therapist ratings of dementia patients' performance of activities of daily living

Ellen M. Cotter, Louis D. Burgio, David L. Roth, John Gerstle, Paula Richardson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Although proxy reports of activities of daily living (ADLs) are commonly used, especially when the care recipient has dementia, how well these caregiver reports correspond to professionals' ratings is not always clear. In this study, dementia caregivers completed an orally administered version of the Self-Care subscale of the Functional Independence Measure (FIM). ADL interactions were videotaped in the home, and independent raters assigned a FIM score to these interactions. An occupational therapist later viewed the videotaped ADLs and assigned FIM scores to those interactions. These three sets of scores were then compared. All possible correlations were significant (n = 21; p ≤ .005; rs =.620 to.933; Mdn =.862), and there were no significant differences among ratings obtained from the different sources. These results support earlier conclusions regarding the validity and clinical utility of caregiver proxy ratings of functional ability in elders with dementia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-225
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2008



  • Activities of daily living
  • Assessment
  • Caregiving
  • Dementia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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