Skip to main content

Optimizing cognitive assessment in primary care to support a more effective route to dementia diagnosis

Why is this research needed?

Improved dementia diagnosis is a priority of the UK Government's National Dementia Challenge, as well as a key focus of the World Health Organisation and the G8. The Alzheimer’s Society’s recent report Dementia 2014: Opportunity for change (1) highlights the urgent need to create a diagnostic pathway which takes people fluently from first presentation to their GP through to memory clinics and long-term support mechanisms following a diagnosis.

As a result it is vital to address delays in the early stages of a person’s diagnostic journey in order to improve access to care and support for the individual and the people around them.

GPs are usually the first point of contact for patients and carers concerned about possible dementia, but it is not clear which tests for identifying dementia are easiest to use in primary care, and how accurate they are. Many GPs also report a lack of certainty in using assessment tools, as well as concerns about the consequences of misdiagnosing dementia.

Current evidence

The evidence base for using brief cognitive assessments is growing, and groups such as the Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group (2) have conducted individual systematic reviews to explore the accuracy of brief cognitive assessments for dementia in a range of different settings. However, there is a lack of evidence on how these tests compare to each other and how GPs use them in practice.

There is therefore a strong need to investigate how brief cognitive assessments for dementia are viewed in practice by the people who use them, and to identify the best assessments to use in primary care, in order to support a more effective route to dementia diagnosis.

This project aims to:

1. Determine current advice for GPs in using brief cognitive assessments for identifying dementia in primary care; 

2. Ascertain which brief cognitive assessments are available to GPs for dementia identification in primary care, particularly in the UK healthcare context ;

3. Explore which brief cognitive assessments are most accurate for GPs to use for dementia identification in primary care;

4. Investigate how brief cognitive assessments are viewed in practice by GPs.

For more information on this project, please read the current project proposal.

If you’d like to learn more, please contact Harriet Hunt via Email or follow her on Twitter @HarrietAHunt.

1 http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/download_info.php?fileID=2317
2 https://dementia.cochrane.org/

Upcoming Events

Oct
26

Searching and Review Clinic

ITTC Building, Plymouth Science Park (Room N14)

***We regret that this clinic is fully booked.  Please visit http://clahrc-peninsula.nihr.ac.uk/searching-and-review-clinics for a list of...
More information

Oct
26

Searching and Review Clinic

The University of Exeter, St Luke's campus, South Cloisters (Room 2.17)

These clinics have been set up to help the PenCLAHRC Evidence Synthesis Team to manage and respond...
More information

Calendar

News

Partnership with Dartington Service Design Lab boosted by strategic collaboration with PenCHORD

18 October 2017

The Dartington Service Design Lab is entering into a strategic collaboration with PenCHORD (the Peninsula Collaboration...
Read more

Prof Adrian Taylor appointed Associate Dean for Research in PUPSMD

02 October 2017

Following his recent appointment as Associate Dean for Research for Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of...
Read more

Prestigious prize awarded at ORAHS 2017

29 September 2017

Many congratulations to Sebastian Rachuba, who was awarded the Steve Gallivan prize at the EURO Working...
Read more

News

Research Projects

PenCHORD: Evaluation of the PenCHORD Health Service Modelling Associates programme (EmMA)

Theme: Evidence for Policy and Practice

This evaluation (EmMA) provides an independent and qualitative review of the first iteration of the...
Read more

Improving the mental health of children and young people with long term conditions

Theme: Mental Health & Dementia

Systematic review evaluating the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of interventions aimed at improving the mental health...
Read more

Research Projects