In its draft, the independent, volunteer panel of experts concludes that not enough clear evidence exists about the benefits and harms of screening for cognitive impairment in adults without signs or symptoms of such impairment to make a recommendation for or against routine screening of all older adults. The summary of the evidence on which the task force based its recommendation was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine and is available on the task force website.
The task force says it will consider all comments it receives as it develops its final recommendation.
REPORT TO CONGRESS
Screening for cognitive impairment is one of five areas related to preventive care in older adults needing more research, the task force said in its annual Report to Congress, released earlier in November. The other four topics it described as being of high priority and having evidence gaps:
- Screening for mental and physical well-being,
- Preventing falls,
- Screening for vision and hearing problems, and
- Avoiding the unintended harms of medical procedures and testing.
“We hope that highlighting evidence gaps related to the care of older adults will help public and private researchers and research funders target their efforts so that together we will be able to improve preventive health and healthcare for all,” says task force co-chair Albert Siu, MD, MSPH.
The report also provides an update on the task force’s activities this year.
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