Starting with an examination of published systematic evidence review studies, the Workgroup then explored whether or not there was consensus in the literature concerning validated tools and commonly used rule-out assessments most suited for primary care practitioners. In addition to the range of tools identified, the recommendations offer suggested questions to include in the required Health Risk Assessments that patients must provide for the visit. The recommendations include tools that are available in multiple languages and are unaffected by levels of education or different cultural backgrounds.While the Workgroup emphasizes in its recommendations "no one tool is recognized as the best brief assessment to determine if a full dementia evaluation is needed," several tools were found most suited for assessing cognitive impairment at no cost to the health care provider during the visit. These include the Mini-Cog™, the Memory Impairment Screen (MIS), and the General Practitioner Assessment of Cognition (GPCOG). Positive attributes of these tests are that they were relatively free of education, race or cultural bias and take five minutes or less to administer – a very favorable aspect given the often limited time primary care physicians have per patient. Recognized tools suited for those close to the patient such as spouses, family members or friends were the AD8, the Short Informant Questionnaire on Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (short IQCODE), and the Informant GPCOG.
Alzheimer's Association Publishes New Recommendations For Primary Care Physicians On How To Assess Cognition During The Medicare Annual Wellness Visit
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