Neurology Central

Errors in the scoring and reporting of cognitive screening instruments administered in primary care

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Aim: To measure the frequency of scoring and reporting errors in cognitive screening instruments administered in the primary care setting in consecutive referrals to a dedicated secondary care memory clinic. Methods: Using a simple ad hoc classification, referral letters from primary care mentioning cognitive screening instrument use were classified as: unequivocal, incorrect/ambiguous or incomplete. Results: Overall, reported test scores were either ambiguous/incorrect or incomplete in 23% of cases, with higher individual frequencies for two screening instruments recommended for use in primary care, the Six-item Cognitive Impairment Test (26%) and the General Practitioner Assessment of Cognition (32%). Conclusion: Errors are not infrequent in the scoring and reporting of cognitive screening instruments administered in primary care. More training in their correct use and scoring is required.
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