Date of Award

August 2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Communication Sciences and Disorders

First Advisor

Sabine Heuer

Committee Members

Adam Follmer, Barbara Pauloski


Dementia, Patient centered care, Quality of life, Self-report, Speech and language pathologists, Visual analogue scale


People with dementia (PWD) are one of the fastest growing clinical populations for speech-language pathologists. Self-reported quality of life (QoL) assessments are critical patient-reported outcome measures that align with person-centered care principles. However, proxy- report is most often used due to assumptions that PWD cannot provide reliable self-report. Visual analogue scales (VAS) have been successfully used with people with expressive and cognitive deficits to measure subjective constructs, such as QoL, mood, and pain. The purpose of this project is to evaluate the feasibility and reliability of a VAS QoL assessment tool.

Twenty healthy older adults were assessed using the QoL-AD and the QoL-AD in combination with a VAS. Construct validity, internal consistency, and test-retest reliability of VAS and traditional QoL-AD were assessed by performing the QoL and VAS assessments twice, 4 weeks apart. Significant correlations between the overall VAS and the QoL-AD Likert scale ratings, between most of the QoL-AD and VAS subtests, and between first and second assessment scores were observed. Results indicated strong construct validity, internal consistency, and test-retest reliability of the VAS measures for QoL assessments in people without dementia. These results warrant further research into the development of a dementia-specific, self-reported VAS QoL scale for PWD.