Diagnosis and Disclosure

Diagnosis and Disclosure

As you weigh the evidence and determine the type and stage of cognitive impairment,the tools and resources in this section can help with diagnosing and assessing patients, determining the type and stage of cognitive impairment, and disclosing the diagnosis and communicating the prognosis.  

Resources

Suggested: The most effective, comprehensive, and evidence-based information.
Additional: Other approaches physicians and other caregivers may find useful.


Suggested Physician Resources

Algorithm Guiding the Differential Diagnosis of Dementia(www.wai.wisc.edu)
The Algorithm Guiding the Differential Diagnosis of Dementia was first presented by the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute (WAI). It provides information, education, research, outreach, advocacy, and service programs about the diagnosis of dementia.

Disclosing a Diagnosis of Dementia(canadiangeriatrics.ca)
This article presents recommendations for a compassionate and person-centered approach to the disclosure of the diagnosis with the patient.

Disclosure of an Alzheimer’s Disease Diagnosis(www.alz.org)
The Alzheimer’s Association offers information and resources about dementia diagnosis. These two instructional videos show the disclosure of Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis and discussions about aspects of assessing cognition.

Patient Questionnaire(26 KB PDF)
Designed for use by the patient, this questionnaire is part of a guideline originally published in the Neurology journal as an educational service of the American Academy of Neurology. It is based on an assessment of current scientific and clinical information to help in developing the diagnosis of dementia and a course of action in care. This tool best applies to patients who have mild dementia.

Family or Caregiver Questionnaire(15 KB PDF)
Designed for use by the family and care provider, this questionnaire is part of a guideline originally published in the Neurology journal as an educational service of the American Academy of Neurology. It is based on an assessment of current scientific and clinical information to help in developing the diagnosis of dementia in the patient.

Driving Contract(www.alz.org)
The Alzheimer’s Association provides a contract between the patient and caregivers that acknowledge there will be a point in time that the patient should no longer drive a motor vehicle.


Patient, Family, and Caregiver Resources

I Have Alzheimer’s Disease(www.alz.org)
I Have Alzheimer’s Disease is a resource helping friends and family live well with the disease. It provides information to assist family and friends on what to expect from the patient and how to maintain a high quality of life.

Living Well(www.alz.org)
Living Well is a guide from the Alzheimer’s Association for persons living with mild cognitive impairment and early dementia. The resource provides information on moving and staying healthy, as well as shaping a positive attitude and reducing stress.

Taking Action(www.alz.org)
Taking Action is a guide from the Alzheimer’s Association for patients and families to learn about mild cognitive impairment or early Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis. The guide discusses issues such as memory loss, strategies for living with memory loss, partnering with your doctor, talking to others about the diagnosis, and other issues of daily living and long-term planning.

At the Crossroads: Family Conversations About Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia & Driving(www.thehartford.com)
Developed by the Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence and the MIT AgeLab, this guide is designed for people who have dementia and their families to assist in prolonging patient independence and promote safe driving. It provides suggestions for monitoring, limiting and stopping driving, and provides cases on the experiences of family caregivers and people who have dementia.


Additional Physician Resources

Sample Dementia Care Plan(ottawainnercityhealth.ca)
The Sample Dementia Care Plan was developed by the Ottawa Inner City Health program in Canada. This resource is a sample of what a care plan might look like.

After a Diagnosis(www.actonalz.org)
After a Diagnosis is a resource from ACT on Alzheimer’s®. Use it to begin the dialog for ongoing case management once the disease has been diagnosed.

Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) Worksheet(knightadrc.wustl.edu)
The Clinical Dementia Rating Worksheet was developed by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. This tool is a battery of tests to help define the level of impairment a patient may have. A long interview is conducted by a neurologist who specializes in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Scoring instructions can be found here(knightadrc.wustl.edu). Other information about CDR can be found here(knightadrc.wustl.edu).