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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Dementia IT screening system (DITS): Practical use of local social resources for early diagnosis of dementia with collaboration between family physicians and dementia specialists

Masayuki Satoh, Hirotaka Kida, Sumie Kawagita, Kyoko Yamazaki, Ken-Ichi Tabei, Hidekazu Tomimoto
Geriatrics & Gerontology International 2018, 18 (4): 599-606
29292567

AIM: To build a dementia screening system in the community to facilitate collaboration among patients/caregiver(s), family clinic physicians and memory clinic specialists.

METHODS: We placed a Dementia Network Promoter (DNP) in four cities in Mie prefecture, Japan. Based on requests from patients/caregiver(s), family clinic physicians ordered dementia screening from the DNP. The DNP carried out screenings at the clinic using an IT device (iPad), and sent the results to a dementia specialist at the Mie University Hospital Dementia Center. The dementia specialist assessed the results of the screening tests, and made a treatment recommendation for a follow-up consultation with a memory clinic or continuing observation by the family clinic. The DNP reported the recommendation of the dementia specialist to the family clinic physician, who provided this information to the patients/caregiver(s). We investigated the characteristics of the patients referred for consultation with the memory clinic.

RESULTS: A total of 158 patients participated in the screening. The majority of patients were in vulnerable living situations characterized by minimal social and family support. The mean score on the Mini-Mental State Examination was 24.1 ± 5.2. Of patients screened, 62% were referred for consultation at the memory clinic, and 57% of those referred completed a consultation at the memory clinic. Patients referred to the memory clinic showed significantly worse cognitive function and ability to complete activities of daily living.

CONCLUSIONS: A dementia screening system might facilitate early consultation and intervention for patients with dementia, and build a more effective network to connect families and memory clinics. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2018; 18: 599-606.

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