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Summary

Aim

The Severe Impairment Battery (SIB), a reliable cognitive measure for evaluating treatment response in advanced Alzheimer's disease (AD), takes approximately 20 min to administer. A recently derived 8-item version of the SIB – the SIB-8 – which takes about 3 min to administer, may represent a more convenient tool for use in clinical practice. The current analyses further explored the SIB-8 scale with respect to its validity and sensitivity.

Methods

A post hoc analysis was performed using data from a 24-week trial of donepezil 23 mg/day and 10 mg/day in > 1400 patients with moderate to severe AD [baseline Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score 0–20]. Treatment effects on cognition (patterns of score change) were assessed using the full SIB and SIB-8 in the total study population and subgroups based on concomitant memantine use and baseline MMSE. Internal consistency/agreement and correlations between the SIB and SIB-8 and other clinical end points were evaluated.

Results

Assessment of score changes from baseline to week 24 with donepezil (23 or 10 mg/day) demonstrated comparable patterns of change when using the SIB-8 and the full SIB, despite inherent differences in the total score ranges for the two scales. Internal consistency/agreement between the full SIB and SIB-8 was good (Cronbach's alphas: 0.77–0.95). SIB-8 scores reliably correlated with SIB total scores (r = 0.859, baseline; r = 0.900, week 24; p < 0.0001), as well as MMSE scores (r = 0.7163, baseline; r = 0.7963, week 24; p < 0.0001). Scores on both SIB scales were moderately associated with functional measures at baseline and week 24.

Conclusions

In this post hoc analysis, similar treatment effects were measured by the full SIB and the SIB-8. Very good internal consistency/agreement and strong correlations between the SIB and the more rapid and convenient SIB-8 indicate that the SIB-8 may be a useful and efficient clinical proxy for the full SIB in evaluating treatment response in patients with advanced AD.