Some with cognitive impairment refuse evaluation

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People who live alone were the least likely to agree to diagnostic assessment after they had a positive result during a dementia screening, according to a new study.

Two-thirds of those aged at least 65 years who screened positively for cognitive impairment refused subsequent evaluation, according to the study of 500 older adults by the Indiana University Center for Aging Research, Regenstrief Institute and Eskenazi Health.  The study was published in the June issue of Alzheimer's & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring, an Alzheimer's Association journal.

In addition to living alone, a person's negative preconceptions of the stigma surrounding dementia were associated with refusal to undergo diagnostic assessment, although, surprisingly to researchers, not with unwillingness to undergo initial screening.

Those who agreed to continue from positive screening to diagnostic assessment were also more likely to agree with positive statements about other types of screening, such as colonoscopy.

Age, sex and race appeared to have no effect on an older adult's decision to follow or not follow a positive cognitive impairment screening result with diagnostic assessment.

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