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9 of 10 Older Adults Agree to Dementia Screens

9 of 10 Older Adults Agree to Dementia Screens A new study shows that almost 90 percent of those between the ages of 65 to 96 typically consent to be screened for dementia.

Refusal rates did vary somewhat for particular age cohorts as the odds of refusal were higher for patients age 70 to 79 than for those age 65 to 69 or for those age 80 or older. Refusal rates were lowest for those who ranged in age from 65 to 69.

Seventy percent of study participants were female, and slightly over half of those in the study were African-American.

Three quarters of the older adults had an annual income of less than $20,000. Willingness to undergo dementia screening was not influenced by sex, race or income level. Refusal rates also did not vary by education level.

“Unlike past studies which asked about theoretical willingness to be screened for dementia and found less interest, we looked at actual willingness of primary care patients to be screened,” said Malaz Boustani, M.D., MPH, associate professor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

The majority of older adults receive their health care from primary care physicians.

“We were surprised by the fact that only one in 10 older adults did not want to be screened for dementia, and we believe this finding of an extremely high level of acceptance of screening by our well-powered study will help doctors evaluate the benefits and harms of dementia screening by providing the voice and perceptions of patients,” said Boustani.

Boustani also pointed out that if dementia screening is recommended in the future, special efforts will need to be employed to reach those in their 70s because of their higher rate of refusal.

Researchers discovered that study participants who indicated stronger agreement to statements about the benefits of knowing about dementia earlier (for example, ability to plan for the future) were more likely to accept screening.

Of the 497 individuals screened in the study, 13 percent were found to be positive for dementia and were referred for a confirmatory diagnostic assessment.

The study is found in the June issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Source: University of Indiana

9 of 10 Older Adults Agree to Dementia Screens

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). 9 of 10 Older Adults Agree to Dementia Screens. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 25, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2012/06/20/9-of-10-older-adults-agree-to-dementia-screens/40417.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
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