A simple approach to detecting dementia in its early stages may help improve patient care. We therefore aimed to assess the power of the Functional Activities Questionnaire (FAQ) for screening dementia among rural-dwelling older adults who are at high-risk for cognitive impairment.
This study included 961 participants at a high-risk for dementia who had been identified from a population-based survey of Chinese rural residents. All participants were aged 65 years and older and positive for cognitive impairment according to the Mini-Mental State Examination or the Ascertain Dementia 8-item Informant Questionnaire screening tests. The FAQ scale was used to evaluate daily activities. Dementia was diagnosed according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, criteria. Receiver operating characteristic curve analyses were used to determine the FAQ’s optimal cut-offs for dementia. The power (or accuracy) of the FAQ for screening dementia was analyzed in the total sample and in subgroups categorized by age, gender, and educational level.
Of the 961 participants, 84 (8.7%) were clinically diagnosed with dementia. Among individuals who were positive for cognitive impairment on the Mini-Mental State Examination or the Ascertain Dementia 8-item Informant Questionnaire, the parameters for an FAQ cut-off score ≥6 as a means of discriminating those with dementia from those without dementia were area under curve = 0.899, sensitivity = 94.1%, specificity = 75.1%, positive likelihood ratio = 3.78, and accuracy = 0.768. The discriminant abilities of the FAQ scale varied with age, gender, and educational level. The discriminant parameters of the FAQ scale were similar overall among individuals who were positive on either the Mini-Mental State Examination or the Ascertain Dementia 8-item Informant Questionnaire test alone.
The FAQ scale has high discriminative power to screen for dementia among rural older residents with suspected cognitive impairment.

© 2020 Japanese Psychogeriatric Society.