HealthDay News — The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) concludes that the evidence is currently inadequate for weighing the benefits and harms of screening for cognitive impairment among older adults. These findings form the basis of a draft recommendation statement published online Sept. 10 by the USPSTF.

Carrie D. Patnode, PhD, MPH, from the Kaiser Permanente Research Affiliates Evidence-based Practice Center in Portland, Oregon, and colleagues conducted a systematic review to examine direct evidence on the benefits and harms of screening for cognitive impairment, the test accuracy of screening instruments, and the benefits and harms of treatment for mild cognitive impairment and mild-to-moderate dementia among adults ages 65 years and older.

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The researchers found that no published trials examined the direct effect of screening for cognitive impairment of patient outcomes, including decision making or other important outcomes. The harms of cognitive impairment screening were not well studied. Fifty-nine studies were identified that addressed the diagnostic accuracy of 49 screening instruments to detect cognitive impairment; some instruments can adequately detect cognitive impairment. Based on these findings, the USPSTF concludes that the evidence is insufficient to weigh the balance of benefits and harms of screening older adults for cognitive impairment (I statement).

The draft recommendation statement and draft evidence review have been posted for public comment. Comments can be submitted from Sept. 10 to Oct. 7, 2019.

Draft Evidence Review

Draft Recommendation Statement

Comment on Recommendation