Global assessments are Food and Drug Administration-required primary outcome measures in trials of putative antidementia drugs. Global ratings are intended to provide an index of clinical importance of change that cannot be obtained from quantitative assessment measures such as mental status examinations. We examined the performance of a global assessment of change instrument, the Clinician Interview-Based Impression (CIBI), in the placebo group of a 30-week, randomized, double-blind clinical trial of tacrine in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Initially there were 184 placebo patients, of whom 125 completed the 30-week study. Descriptive statistics, correlations with changes on other assessment instruments, and test-retest reliability were determined for the CIBI. At week 30, clinicians rated more than 40% of patients on the CIBI as unchanged. The CIBI ratings were weakly but significantly correlated, in the expected direction, with change scores on the quantitative cognitive assessments. The CIBI was modestly reliable on test- retest at weeks 22 and 24 but less reliable compared with other quantitative outcome measures. Modifications of the CIBI that might improve its reliability and acceptance include (1) no restrictions on the form of the bedside mental status assessment, (2) inclusion of caregiver input, and (3) better definition of ratings on the global scale. Global instruments, if properly constructed, can provide an index of clinically important change for the assessment of dementia patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology