Public Health Article

A systematic review of interventions to detect dementia or cognitive impairment

Review Quality Rating: 9 (strong)

Citation: Mukadam N., Cooper C., Kherani N., & Livingston G. (2015). A systematic review of interventions to detect dementia or cognitive impairment. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 30(1), 32-45.

Evidence Summary PubMed LinkOut


BACKGROUND: Memory services have been implemented nationally to increase early dementia diagnosis, and further evaluation of their impact and other strategies to increase timely dementia diagnosis are needed.
AIMS: To systematically review the literature for interventions intended to increase the detection of dementia or suspected dementia or people presenting with memory complaints.
METHOD: We searched electronic databases, hand searched references and contacted authors of included papers, contacted field experts and UK charities and councils for data about their dementia awareness programmes.
RESULTS: We included 13 studies, of which four were randomised controlled trials (RCT). Two RCTs found that general practitioner (GP) education increased suspected dementia cases. One RCT found up to six home visits from a specialist geriatric nurse over 30?months increased the rate of accurately diagnosed dementia. There was preliminary evidence from non-randomised studies that memory clinics increase timely diagnosis, but no evidence they increase the overall diagnosis rate.
CONCLUSIONS: There is good quality evidence that GP education increases the number of suspected dementia cases but not accurate or earlier dementia diagnoses. One RCT reported that multiple visits from a trained nurse increase the diagnosis rate. There is no cost effectiveness evidence. Our findings suggest good quality RCTs are needed to test the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of interventions to increase dementia detection.


Adults (20-59 years), Community, Education / Awareness & Skill Development / Training, Mental Health, Nursing home/long-term care facility, Primary health care provider office (e.g., Public health nurse, dietitian, social worker), Screening, Senior Health, Seniors (60+ years)

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