Observed affect and quality of life in dementia: Further affirmations and problems

M. Powell Lawton, K. Van Haitsma, M. Perkinson, K. Ruckdeschel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


This article discusses the ongoing attempt to develop a rating of observed emotion in persons with dementia. The comprehension of the emotional signals of the person with dementia has significant implication for caregiving. The purpose of the present report was twofold: first, to explore training and utilization of the Apparent Affect Rating Scale (AARS) by certified nursing assistants (CNAs) rather than trained research personnel; and second, to test whether the scale showed intraindividual variations in people's affective responses as they moved from one environmental context to another. Results also suggested that the instrument does possess sufficient sensitivity to the behavioral context. Clinical implications for the utilization of the instrument are discussed. CNAs' reliability was less than desirable, suggesting the need for more investment in training, repeated practice, and a commitment to quality improvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-81
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Mental Health and Aging
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 29 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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