Multidimensional apathy in ALS:validation of the Dimensional Apathy Scale

Radakovic, Ratko, Stephenson, Laura, Colville, Shuna, Swingler, Robert, Chandran, Siddharthan and Abrahams, Sharon (2016) Multidimensional apathy in ALS:validation of the Dimensional Apathy Scale. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 87 (6). pp. 663-669. ISSN 0022-3050

[thumbnail of Accepted manuscript]
PDF (Accepted manuscript) - Accepted Version
Download (464kB) | Preview


AIM: Apathy is a prominent symptom of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), but measurement is confounded by physical disability. Furthermore, it has been traditionally measured as a unidimensional symptom despite research demonstrating a multifaceted construct. The new Dimensional Apathy Scale (DAS) has been specifically designed for patients with motor disability to measure 3 neurologically based subtypes of apathy: Executive, Emotional and Initiation. We aimed to explore this behavioural symptom by examining the substructure of apathy in ALS and to determine the reliability and validity of the DAS in patients and their carers.  METHOD: Patients and carers were recruited through the national Scottish Motor Neurone Disease Register and were asked to complete the DAS, the standardised Apathy Evaluation Scale, and the Geriatric Depression Scale-Short Form. 83 patients with ALS, 75 carers and 83 sex-matched, age-matched and education-matched controls participated.  RESULTS: When compared with healthy controls, patients showed a significant increase in apathy on the Initiation subscale, and were significantly less apathetic on the Emotional subscale. Scores on the DAS patient and carer versions did not significantly differ. Internal consistency reliability, convergent and discriminant validity were found to be good for the DAS subscales. There was no association between the DAS and functional disability using the ALS Functional Rating Scale.  CONCLUSIONS: Apathy in ALS is characterised by a specific profile of increased initiation apathy and reduced emotional apathy. The DAS is a reliable and valid measure for the assessment of multidimensional apathy in ALS.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Health Sciences
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Groups > Dementia & Complexity in Later Life
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2018 11:00
Last Modified: 28 Jan 2024 02:38
DOI: 10.1136/jnnp-2015-310772


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item