Alzheimer’s disease-associated disability: an ICF approach

Rossella Muo, A Schindler, I Vernero, O Schindler, E Ferrario, GB Frisoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose. The aim of the study is to provide a description of dementia-associated disability in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients through the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF).Method. Twenty-six AD patients at different stages of disease participated in the study. Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) and Global Deterioration Scale (GDS) were used to stage the degree of cognitive impairment and the stage of disease, respectively. All subjects were classified using the ICF categories in the more detailed four-level version. Correlation between compromised ICF items and both MMSE and GDS scores were calculated through Spearman Rho test.Results. Mental functions were impaired in all the subjects examined. Data on activity and participation showed that not only domestic life, self care, and mobility but also communication and interaction and social relationships are compromised in AD patients. Three main areas appeared as the most relevant facilitators: products and technology, support and relationship and services, systems and policies. ICF codes were generally correlated with both MMSE and GDS: subjects who appeared more compromised on MMSE and GDS showed higher impairment of functions, activity limitation, and participation restriction.Conclusion. ICF is a useful tool to describe health status in AD patients in that it underlines important aspects of daily living generally not considered by activity of daily living scales such as communication, social relationships, and recreation and leisure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1405–1413
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Publication statusPublished - 2005
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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