TUESDAY, Feb. 25, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) concludes that the evidence is lacking and that the balance of benefits and harms of cognitive impairment screening for older adults cannot be established. These findings form the basis of a final recommendation statement published in the Feb. 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Carrie D. Patnode, Ph.D., from the Kaiser Permanente Evidence-Based Research Center in Portland, Oregon, and colleagues conducted a systematic review, including 287 studies with more than 280,000 older adults, to assess the accuracy of cognitive screening instruments in adults aged ≥65 years. In one randomized clinical trial with 4,005 participants, no significant differences were found in health-related quality of life at 12 months. Overall, 224 randomized clinical trials and three observational studies assessed treatment of mild cognitive impairment or mild-to-moderate dementia; none of the treatment trials were linked with a screening program.

Based on evidence from the review, Douglas K. Owens, M.D., from Stanford University in California, and colleagues concluded that the evidence was lacking for community-dwelling adults aged 65 years or older without signs or symptoms of cognitive impairment. The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient for determining the balance of benefits and harms for cognitive impairment screening in this population.

“The Task Force is calling for more research to address this serious issue,” Owens said in a statement. “Research is especially needed on whether screening and early detection of cognitive impairment helps patients, caregivers, and doctors make decisions about health care or plan for the future.”

One author from the recommendation statement disclosed financial ties to Healthwise.

Evidence Report
Final Recommendation Statement
Editorial 1
Editorial 2 (subscription or payment may be required)

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