Enhancing Cognitive Screening in Geriatric Care: Use of an Internet-Based System

Enhancing Cognitive Screening in Geriatric Care: Use of an Internet-Based System

Peter A. Lichtenberg, Amanda Schafer Johnson, David M. Erlanger, Tanya Kaushik, Michael E. Maddens, Khaled Imam, Jeffrey Barth, Frank M. Webbe
DOI: 10.4018/jhisi.2006070103
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Cognitive screening measures for age-related cognitive impairment have been found to have only fair validity, and the risks of harm even may outweigh the benefits at this time (U.S. Preventative Service Task Force, 2003). A large-scale project designed to assess elder care in Primary Care Physician offices noted that dementia evaluation and treatment was one of the most overlooked aspects of care. Taken together, these studies cited the lack of time and technical expertise in test administration as the most prominent barriers to the accurate detection of dementia in Primary Care Physician offices. It was for these reasons that the Cognitive Screening Test (CST) was created. The CST requires no physician time or training to administer or interpret it. The current study investigated the clinical utility of this cognitive screening system by comparing the results of 102 patients to those of expert geriatricians, using consensus conference methods for diagnosis. Overall clinical utility demonstrated scores at .80 or above for sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive power. In contrast, the MMSE had only a .38 sensitivity. A Receiver Operating Curve (ROC) analysis indicated a .863 accuracy rating for the predetermined cut score on the CST.

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