Clevenger C, Brubaker M, Patel M, Cummings J, Jackson WC, Stroud C, Pechin S, Bratlee-Whitaker E, Brown TM, Fehnel S, Grossberg G. One minute to recognition: the agitation in Alzheimer's screener for caregivers (AASC). Poster presented at the Gerontological Society of America's 2023 Annual Scientific Meeting; November 10, 2023. Tampa, FL.

Agitation associated with Alzheimer’s dementia (AAD) is a common neuropsychiatric symptom of Alzheimer’s dementia (AD) and one of the most complex, stressful, and burdensome aspects of AD care. Caregivers can have an important role in early detection as they are often first to encounter agitation-associated behaviors, but there is currently no tool available to screen for agitation. Here, we report on the development of the Agitation in Alzheimer’s Screener for Caregivers (AASC), designed to assist caregivers in recognizing key agitation-associated behaviors in patients with AD. Development of the initial draft involved identification and inclusion of specific behaviors that were highly discriminative for AD with/without agitation, highly prevalent in AAD, and representative of the full range of International Psychogeriatric Association (IPA)-defined agitation behaviors (ie, excessive motor activity, verbal aggression, physical aggression). Revisions to the initial draft were incorporated based on feedback from clinical experts and key opinion leaders (n=6) and then tested/revised across 2 rounds of cognitive debriefing interviews with caregivers (n=12; mean age=62 years). Following testing, caregivers described the screening tool as comprehensive yet easy to complete, and perceived it to be valuable, relevant, and easily understood. The final AASC comprises two questions covering identification and impact of seven key agitation behaviors. The AASC is a brief, caregiver-vetted, easy-to-use tool that can be completed in <1 minute at home or in a healthcare provider’s office setting to support caregiver recognition, facilitate healthcare provider discussions, and aid in diagnosis of AAD. Quantitative evaluation of the AASC is currently underway.

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