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Dementia screening is a public health priority in Taiwan, where the prevalence of dementia is increasing because of an aging population. However, the reasons affect community-dwelling people to accept a referral to memory specialist clinic after dementia screening was still unclear. To investigate the feasibility, acceptability, sensitivity, and specificity of the ascertain dementia 8-item informant questionnaire (AD8) to screen for patients with cognitive impairments in Taiwan's primary healthcare system.
Researchers invited community-dwelling people whose age was above 50-year-old to attend the Memory Screening Project. AD8 was used to perform the informant interview with adult patients who were attending the Memory Screening Project in Taiwan. Individuals who scored ≥2 on the AD8 was suggested to accept referral for further cognitive performance evaluation tests, which included three validated dementia tests, i.e. the Mini-Mental Screening Examination (MMSE), the Cognitive Abilities Screening Instrument (CASI), and the Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR).
Of the 102 participants who scored ≥2 on the AD8, only 25.5% attended the referral appointment. In participants who had achieved six or more years of education, AD8 scores were not significantly different between groups and could not differentiate between the non-dementia and patients with dementia in the receiver-operator characteristics curve analysis. In contrast, in those participants who had received less than six years of education, the AD8 scores significantly differentiated between non-dementia and patients with dementia (p = 0.03).
There was a low rate of attendance at a specialist memory clinic following referral after the AD8 interview. Higher levels of education facilitated individuals to make a decision to accept the recommended referral appointment, while the AD8 showed a higher rate of differentiation between individuals who had received an education of less than six years.
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