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Review: some screening tests for dementia are accurate and practical for use in primary care

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T Holsinger

Correspondence to: Dr T Holsinger, Durham VA Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA; [email protected]

QUESTION

How accurate are screening tests for detecting dementia in older people in primary care settings?

METHODS

Data sources:

MEDLINE and PsycINFO (2000 to April 2006). Earlier studies were covered by a previously published review.*

Study selection and assessment:

English-language studies that evaluated screening tests for dementia used by general practitioners in people >60 years of age who did not have clinically obvious dementia. Included studies were required to use an acceptable criterion standard to diagnose dementia. Studies of patients in institutions or with <6 years of education, and those involving diagnostic imaging or laboratory or physiological tests were excluded. 29 studies involving 38 assessments of 25 screening instruments met the selection criteria. Quality of individual studies was assessed based on sample size, participant selection, …

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