04 Mar USPSTF Statement on Screening for Cognitive Impairment in Older Adults
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Chyke A. Doubeni, M.D., M.P.H.
Director, the Mayo Clinic Center Health Equity and Community Engagement Research
Department of Family Medicine
Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Cognitive impairment is a serious public health problem that affects millions of Americans as they age; it can lead to frustrating challenges that impact their everyday lives, such as trouble remembering, learning new things, or organizing their thoughts.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: Unfortunately, there isn’t enough evidence for the Task Force to make a recommendation for or against screening older adults who don’t have signs or symptoms of cognitive impairment. That’s why we’re calling for more research on this critically important issue.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: The most important takeaway here is that more research is needed on the benefits and harms of screening for cognitive impairment in adults that don’t have any signs or symptoms of the condition. That said, we know this is an issue that deeply impacts patients and their families, and we’re hopeful that more research will empower us to make a strong, evidence-based recommendation in the future.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: There is the greatest need for more research evaluating the effectiveness of screening, especially around whether screening and early detection supports healthcare decision-making and planning for patients, their families, and their clinicians.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: While the Task Force wasn’t able to recommend for or against screening in those without signs or symptoms, we encourage clinicians to remain alert for early signs or symptoms of cognitive impairment – such as problems with memory and language – and talk with patients and families about any concerns they have.
US Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for Cognitive Impairment in Older Adults: US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement. JAMA. 2020;323(8):757–763. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.0435
Patnode CD, Perdue LA, Rossom RC, et al. Screening for Cognitive Impairment in Older Adults: Updated Evidence Report and Systematic Review for the US Preventive Services Task Force. JAMA. 2020;323(8):764–785. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.22258
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Last Updated on March 4, 2020 by Marie Benz MD FAAD