Quality of life (QOL) in patients diagnosed with dementia is of critical importance. Reliable and valid measurement of patient QOL is essential to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment interventions and to gain a better understanding of the detrimental impact of dementia on patients' lives. In this study, the psychometric properties of a new scale developed to measure QOL, the Cornell-Brown Scale for Quality of Life, were examined. Data were collected from 50 dementia clinic outpatients with a range of cognitive impairment. Scale ratings were based on a brief, joint interview with caregivers and patients. Findings indicated that the scale demonstrated adequate interrater reliability (intraclass r = 0.90) and internal consistency reliability (Cronbach alpha = 0.81). Criterion validity was indicated by a positive correlation between QOL scores and visual analogue positive mood ratings (Spearman rho = 0.63) and a negative correlation between QOL and dementia severity as measured by Clinical Dementia Ratings (Spearman rho = −0.35). Reliability and validity were not adversely affected by patient cognitive impairment. Thus, preliminary data indicate that the Cornell-Brown Scale for Quality of Life is a brief, easily administered, reliable, and valid measure of QOL.
Departments of Psychiatry and Human Behavior and *Clinical Neurosciences, Brown Medical School, Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.A.
Received January 10, 2001.
Accepted October 20, 2001.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Rebecca E. Ready, Ph.D., Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, Department of Medical Rehabilitation, 111 Brewster Street, Pawtucket, RI 02860; e-mail: Rebecca_Ready@brown.edu.