Dementia screening by phone

Using the telephone as part of telemedicine may help in the diagnosis of dementia, and it appears most older adults would feel comfortable with this type of screening, according to a new study published in the Journal of Aging Research.

Researchers at the Indiana University (IU) Center for Aging Research and the Regenstrief Institute found that nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of the 400 older adults surveyed were willing to undergo telephone screening for dementia. Among the reasons cited was the belief in the benefit of detecting cognitive decline early and knowing someone in whom dementia or Alzheimer’s disease already had been diagnosed.

“Despite rising incidence rates of Alzheimer’s and other dementias, many individuals with cognitive impairment are not screened. They go unrecognized and thus never receive evaluation or diagnosis,” IU Center for Aging Research and Regenstrief Institute investigator Nicole Fowler, PhD, said in a press release. “Understanding patients’ attitude about the risk and benefits of early identification of dementia is vital as we evaluate potential screening barriers and facilitators.”

Topics: Alzheimer's/Dementia , Technology & IT