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 November 23, 2014 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 November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
You Don't Have To Be Alcohol Dependent To Need Treatment

You Don't Have To Be Alcohol Dependent To Need Treatment

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 9 out of 10 excessive drinkers in the country are not alcohol dependent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) Researchers at the University of Edinburgh found the more complex your job is, the sharper your cognitive skills will likely be as you age. 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