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Screening for Dementia [Internet]

Screening for Dementia [Internet]

Systematic Evidence Reviews - Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US)

Version: June 2003

Discussion

Our systematic review found no randomized trial that evaluated the overall efficacy of dementia screening in primary care. Therefore, we attempted to evaluate screening by reviewing the literature using a step-wise analytic framework that focused on prevalence of undiagnosed dementia properties of screening tests, studies of treatment options for patients and caregivers, and adverse effects of screening and treatment.

Results

Our presentation of results is arranged chiefly in accordance with the 9 key questions (KQ) introduced in Chapter 2 and Table 1. Specifically, we address the following issues: efficacy of screening in terms of 6 major outcomes (KQ No. 1); prevalence of undiagnosed dementia and common causes of this disease (KQ No. 2); reliability and validity of screening tests (KQ No. 3); efficacy of pharmacologic treatments of dementia (KQ No. 4); efficacy of nonpharmacological interventions (KQ No. 5); efficacy of caregiver interventions (KQ No. 6); adverse effects of screening (KQ No. 7); costs or cost-effectiveness of screening (KQ No. 8); and adverse effects of treatment (KQ No. 9). For KQ Nos. 4, 5 and 6 on therapies, we organize the discussion in terms of the 6 major health outcomes—functioning, health care utilization, behavioral problems, caregiver stress, adverse events, and quality of life—specified in the analytic framework (Figure 1).

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