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Boustani M, Peterson B, Harris R, et al. Screening for Dementia [Internet]. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2003 Jun. (Systematic Evidence Reviews, No. 20.)

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Screening for Dementia [Internet].

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The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) sponsors the development of Systematic Evidence Reviews (SERs) through its Evidence-based Practice Program. With guidance from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force* (USPSTF) and input from Federal partners and primary care specialty societies, the Evidence-based Practice Center at Oregon Health Sciences University systematically reviews the evidence of the effectiveness of a wide range of clinical preventive services, including screening, counseling, and chemoprevention, in the primary care setting. The SERs—comprehensive reviews of the scientific evidence on the effectiveness of particular clinical preventive services—serve as the foundation for the recommendations of the USPSTF, which provide age- and risk-factor-specific recommendations for the delivery of these services in the primary care setting. Details of the process of identifying and evaluating relevant scientific evidence are described in the “Methods” section of each SER.

The SERs document the evidence regarding the benefits, limitations, and cost-effectiveness of a broad range of clinical preventive services and will help to further awareness, delivery, and coverage of preventive care as an integral part of quality primary health care.

AHRQ also disseminates the SERs on the AHRQ Web site ( and disseminates summaries of the evidence (summaries of the SERs) and recommendations of the USPSTF in print and on the Web. These are available through the AHRQ Web site, through the National Guideline Clearinghouse (, and in print through the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse (1-800-358-9295).

We welcome written comments on this SER. Comments may be sent to: Director, Center for Practice and Technology Assessment, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 540 Gaither Road, Rockville, MD 20850, or e-mail

  • Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D.
  • Director
  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
  • Jean R. Slutsky, P.A., M.S.P.H.
  • Acting Director, Center for Practice and Technology Assessment
  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality



The USPSTF is an independent panel of experts in primary care and prevention first convened by the U.S. Public Health Service in 1984. The USPSTF systematically reviews the evidence on the effectiveness of providing clinical preventive services--including screening, counseling, and chemoprevention--in the primary care setting. AHRQ convened the current USPSTF in November 1998 to update existing Task Force recommendations and to address new topics.


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