Construction of a potential telephone assessment of dementia prevalence and severity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The “δ” (for “dementia”) is a latent dementia phenotype that can be constructed by a unique confirmatory bifactor model in a structural equation model framework. Because it is derived from Spearman’s general intelligence factor, “g,” δ can be constructed from any cognitive battery. This may allow for accurate dementia case-finding by telephone and in the absence of expert clinical evaluation or review. The authors constructed a new δ homolog in a large ethnically diverse convenience sample: the Texas Alzheimer’s Research and Care Consortium, comprising 2,016 participants (Alzheimer’s disease [AD], N=920; mild cognitive impairment, N=277; normal controls, N=819). A δ composite (“dTEL”) was extracted from informant-rated Instrumental Activities of Daily Living and a brief battery of verbal cognitive measures. The entire battery was engineered to be administered over the telephone. dTEL’s model had excellent fit. dTEL correlated strongly with dementia severity, as measured by the Clinical Dementia Rating “sum of boxes” scale (r=0.78, p<0.001). The dTEL composite’s area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for the discrimination between control subjects and AD patients was 0.97 (95% CI=0.964–0.975). This was superior to all dTEL indicators. Therefore, the authors have demonstrated that a δ homolog composite constructed entirely from verbal measures is strongly associated with dementia severity, can accurately diagnose dementia, and outperforms all observed measures from which it is constructed. Future studies are required to assess dTEL’s performance relative to evaluation by expert clinicians when obtained by lay psychometricians over the telephone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-207
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Construction of a potential telephone assessment of dementia prevalence and severity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this