Population health solutions for assessing cognitive impairment in geriatric patients
Perry W, Lacritz L, Roebuck-spencer T, et al. Population Health Solutions for Assessing Cognitive Impairment in Geriatric Patients. Clin Neuropsychol. 2018;32(7):1193-1225. doi: 10.1080/13854046.2018.1517503.
In December 2017, the National Academy of Neuropsychology convened an interorganizational Summit on Population Health Solutions for Assessing Cognitive Impairment in Geriatric Patients in Denver, Colorado. The Summit brought together representatives of a broad range of stakeholders invested in the care of older adults to focus on the topic of cognitive health and aging. Summit participants specifically examined questions of who should be screened for cognitive impairment and how they should be screened in medical settings. This is important in the context of an acute illness given that the presence of cognitive impairment can have significant implications for care and for the management of concomitant diseases as well as pose a major risk factor for dementia. Participants arrived at general principles to guide future screening approaches in medical populations and identified knowledge gaps to direct future research. Key learning points of the summit included: recognizing the importance of educating patients and healthcare providers about the value of assessing current and baseline cognition; emphasizing that any screening tool must be appropriately normalized and validated in the population in which it is used to obtain accurate information, including considerations of language, cultural factors, and education; and recognizing the great potential, with appropriate caveats, of electronic health records to augment cognitive screening and tracking of changes in cognitive health over time.