Validity of screening instruments for the detection of dementia and mild cognitive impairment in hospital inpatients: A systematic review of diagno…

A new interesting article has been published in PLoS One. 2019 Jul 25;14(7):e0219569. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0219569. eCollection 2019. and titled:

Validity of screening instruments for the detection of dementia and mild cognitive impairment in hospital inpatients: A systematic review of diagno…

Authors of this article are:

Hwang AB, Boes S, Nyffeler T, Schuepfer G.

A summary of the article is shown below:

INTRODUCTION: As the population ages, Alzheimer’s disease and other subtypes of dementia are becoming increasingly prevalent. However, in recent years, diagnosis has often been delayed or not made at all. Thus, improving the rate of diagnosis has become an integral part of national dementia strategies. Although screening for dementia remains controversial, the case is strong for screening for dementia and other forms of cognitive impairment in hospital inpatients. For this reason, the objective of this systematic review was to provide clinicians, who wish to implement screening, an up-to-date choice of cognitive tests with the most extensive evidence base for the use in elective hospital inpatients.METHODS: For this systematic review, PubMed, PsycINFO and Cochrane Library were searched by using a multi-concept search strategy. The databases were accessed on April 10, 2019. All cross-sectional studies that utilized brief, multi-domain cognitive tests as index test and a reference standard diagnosis of dementia or mild cognitive impairment as comparator were included. Only studies conducted in the hospital setting, sampling from unselected, elective inpatients older than 64 were considered.RESULTS: Six studies met the inclusion criteria, with a total of 2112 participants. Diagnostic accuracy data for the Six-Item Cognitive Impairment Test, Cognitive Performance Scale, Clock-Drawing Test, Mini-Mental Status Examination, and Time & Change test were extracted and descriptively analyzed. Clinical and methodological heterogeneity between the studies precluded performing a meta-analysis.DISCUSSION: This review found only a small number of instruments and was not able to recommend a single best instrument for use in a hospital setting. Although it was not possible to estimate the pooled operating characteristics, the included description of instrument characteristics, the descriptive analysis of performance measures, and the critical evaluation of the reporting studies may contribute to clinician’s choice of the screening instrument that fits best their purpose.

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