Monday, November 12, 2012


     A complete diagnostic evaluation for AD is time-consuming, expensive, and requires substantial expertise on the part of the examining physician.
    In clinical settings and in research studies, there is a need for brief screening tools that could help to identify those individuals who should receive a full diagnostic evaluation. Effective screening tools could help to ensure that scarce diagnostic services are focused on those individuals who are most likely to have dementia. Screening can be conducted in a variety of settings and, potentially, using a variety of different tools. As examples, screening could be done in clinics, doctors' offices, door-to-door surveys, by mail, or by telephone. Several mental-status interviews have been developed or adapted for use over the telephone (e.g., Brandt, Spencer, & Folstein, 1988; Roccaforte, Burke, Bayer, & Wengel, 1992). Most of these instruments are designed as telephonic versions of brief mental-status examinations, such as the MMSE and, therefore, have enough questions to measure the severity, as well as detect the presence of dementia.

    Recently, we have initiated a study to test the reliability and validity of a very brief telephonic-screening interview that could be given by nonprofessionals in a few minutes. The interview is not designed to enable a
specific dementia diagnosis or to evaluate the severity of dementia, but simply to identify persons with a high probability of being demented.

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