Cognitive Impairment in Older Adults Toolkit Project
Alzheimer’s’ disease (AD) and other dementias have become one of our major medical, public health, societal and financial issues. Early and timely recognition of cognitive decline shows clear benefits from ethical, safety and financial planning perspectives. Moreover, some cases of dementias are reversible with timely interventions and others, such as AD, disease-modifying treatment options and early management of coexisting medical conditions are shown to be beneficial. Despite national attention to address dementia, primary care providers have made no significant improvement in recognizing dementia over the last two decades. Regrettably, there is still very little guidance for practicing clinicians to improve recognition of persons with or at risk for dementia. There is a clear need for clinicians to be prepared to recognize cognitive decline early and properly diagnose and manage dementia in older adults.
Study Description and Methods
Ten physicians will be recruited to join the study’s expert panel workgroup. During the working group meeting, the expert panel will assess the perspectives of providers concerning the usefulness, completeness and acceptability of the materials provided in the context of primary care practice. A portion of the meetings will focus on the discussions about the structure of the toolkit, practice workflow patterns, when and where the materials are most likely to be used. This workgroup will convene in two virtual meetings, with some preparatory work outside of meetings.
Specific Aims and Objectives
The overall goal of the project is to provide primary care clinicians with a consensus-based, effective and practical platform of currently existing tools and evidence to screen, assess, diagnose, and effectively manage older adults with or at risk for cognitive decline and dementia.
- To obtain, compile and review existing tools, best practices and scientific evidence related to diagnosis and treatment of cognitive impairment for the proposed toolkit.
- To develop a practical and acceptable platform of currently existing tools and evidence to screen, assess, diagnose, and manage patients with or at risk for cognitive impairments (i.e. toolkit) in primary care setting.
- To test the toolkit in and evaluate the degree of toolkit effects on change in provider beliefs and behaviors around early diagnosis of cognitive impairment.
- To prepare the toolkit for dissemination: to identify different modalities and dissemination strategies for the toolkit; and determine next steps and activities to further address the need for early and improved detection of cognitive impairment in primary care based on the results of the toolkit performance evaluation and expert panel recommendations.
October 2015-December 2016
Key Findings and Publications
Look for the work group findings and the toolkit in an Expanded Learning Session at FMX 2016
For additional information about this study, please contact:
Natalia Loskutova MD PhD
Director of Evaluation
AAFP National Research Network
(800) 274-2237, ext. 3186
Emily Bullard MPH
Sr. Research Project Coordinator
AAFP National Research Network
(800) 274-2237, ext. 3174
This study is funded by grants from Eli Lilly.