Dementia: Mini-Screen Tool

Dr. Soo Borson, M.D. Professor Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington School of MedicineMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Soo Borson, M.D.
Professor Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences,
University of Washington School of Medicine

 

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Borson:  We developed a new short screen to help clinicians and health care systems identify dementia patients and their caregivers who have unmet needs for dementia care services – extra help from primary care providers or clinical specialists skilled in understanding and managing problems related to dementia, working with caregivers to alleviate stress and burden, and locating community-based support services.
MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Borson:   Yes. We were surprised by the power of a simple stress question and a short problem behavior list to predict needs and gaps in dementia-related services, and by how little other clinical and psychosocial factors added to those two elements. In addition, we didn’t expect that needs would as great in early stages of dementia as we actually observed.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report? 

Dr. Borson: Medical and psychosocial services for dementia related problems are needed by both patients and caregivers, even in the milder stages of Alzheimer’s disease that are encountered most often in primary care settings.  We believe our study could help reduce barriers to delivering high quality dementia care services by improving recognition of dyads who need them most.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Borson:  The Dementia Services Mini-Screen – the tool we developed in this study – is ready for testing in clinical practices and health care systems striving to become members of a ‘dementia-capable’ health care community.

Citation:

The Dementia Services Mini-Screen: A Simple Method to Identify Patients and Caregivers Needing Enhanced Dementia Care Services
Soo Borson, James M. Scanlan, Tatiana Sadak, Mary Lessig, Peter Vitaliano

The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry – 14 November 2013 (10.1016/j.jagp.2013.11.001)

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