Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Some Dementia Screening Instruments Have Significant Weaknesses

Date:
November 6, 2008
Source:
University of Kent
Summary:
Scientists have identified weaknesses in the most widely employed dementia screening instrument currently used in primary care.

A research team led by Dr Alisoun Milne, a Senior Lecturer at the Tizard Centre, University of Kent, has identified weaknesses in the most widely employed dementia screening instrument currently used in primary care.

Related Articles


The team, which included three senior health care practitioners from the Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust, conducted a study that included a review of research evidence, a systematic clinically informed evaluation of the most commonly used screening measures, and a survey of measures employed in primary care in Kent.

Although the survey revealed that the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) was the most widely used measure in Kent – with as many as 51% of respondents using it as the only screening tool – the review concluded that three other less commonly used instruments are easier to administer, clinically acceptable, more effective, and less affected by patient education, gender, and ethnicity. These are: the General Practitioner Assessment of Cognition (GPCOG), the Memory Impairment Screen (MIS), and the Mini-Cognitive Assessment Instrument (Mini-Cog). That all three have psychometric properties similar to the MMSE is also important.

Of the GPs surveyed, many actually expressed concern about limited availability of measures other than MMSE, little access to training and advice on screening, and a lack of national guidance. One GP summarised the views of many by stating that ‘it would be very helpful if a standard screening tool could be recommended and made widely available . . . now!’

Dr Milne, a researcher in the field of gerontology, said: ‘Although the MMSE is widely used in the UK, this project identifies the GPCOG, MIS and Mini-Cog as clinically and psychometrically robust and more appropriate for routine use in primary care. The study highlights a need for primary care staff to be offered training and advice on dementia screening including the use of instruments. Early diagnosis is one of the key aims of the National Dementia Strategy; improving the quality and consistency of dementia screening is a distinctive and yet pivotal dimension of achieving this important policy goal.’

Dr Milne also moved to reassure patients and family members who may have concerns about the findings. ‘Anyone with concerns about their own, or their relatives, cognitive function or memory should consult their GP,’ she said. ‘Whatever the relative weaknesses of the MMSE are, it remains a safe and valid screening instrument. Further, it is likely to remain the instrument of choice for most GPs until national guidance is provided on dementia screening and early diagnosis taking account of evaluative clinically informed research of the type reported by us.’


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Kent. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Milne et al. Screening for dementia in primary care: a review of the use, efficacy and quality of measures. International Psychogeriatrics, 2008; 20 (5): DOI: 10.1017/S1041610208007394

Cite This Page:

University of Kent. "Some Dementia Screening Instruments Have Significant Weaknesses." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081106064634.htm>.
University of Kent. (2008, November 6). Some Dementia Screening Instruments Have Significant Weaknesses. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081106064634.htm
University of Kent. "Some Dementia Screening Instruments Have Significant Weaknesses." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081106064634.htm (accessed April 19, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers who analyzed data from over 300,000 kids and their mothers say they&apos;ve found a link between gestational diabetes and autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Family members are prerecording messages as part of a unique pilot program at the Hebrew Home in New York. The videos are trying to help victims of Alzheimer&apos;s disease and other forms of dementia break through the morning fog of forgetfulness. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Common Pain Reliever Might Dull Your Emotions

Common Pain Reliever Might Dull Your Emotions

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2015) Each week, millions of Americans take acetaminophen to dull minor aches and pains. Now researchers say it might blunt life&apos;s highs and lows, too. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins