Promoting screening of cognitive impairment and dementia in Vermont: A proposal for ongoing continuing medical education (CME)
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Introduction: The prevalence of dementia in Vermont is increasing, and is expected to affect 1 in 8 Vermonters over the age of 65 by 2025. Early detection and diagnosis of dementia is desirable, but is challenging and often overlooked. This study investigated the attitudes of primary care physicians (PCPs) regarding early screening for dementia, and the tools used for screening. We also assessed PCP interest in a mandatory CME hour focused on dementia screening and diagnosis. Methods: An 8-question survey was distributed to 438 Vermont PCPs. Students also met with a member of the VT Board of Medical Practice, to discuss the feasibility of instituting a mandatory CME for dementia education. Results: Of the 72 PCPs who responded to the survey, 81% agreed that there was a solid rationale for conducting dementia screening, with 78% regularly conducting screens. The majority of PCPs conducting screens used a suboptimal screening tool, i.e. the Mini-Mental State Exam. Of surveyed physicians, over half were resistant to a mandatory CME for dementia education, and the Vermont Board of Medical Practice advised that requiring it would be very difficult. She recommended an optional online CME module, for which 75% of surveyed PCPs demonstrated interest. Conclusion: Vermont primary care physicians are aware of the importance of dementia screening, but demonstrate a lack of knowledge in effective screening strategies. We propose to design a free, online CME module with a carefully planned dissemination strategy to help educate Vermont PCPs in effective dementia screening.
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Describe the prevalence and public health impact of dementia
Explain the importance of early diagnosis of dementia
Explain barriers to screening by primary care physicians
Identify barriers to use of mandatory continuing medical education related to dementia
Formulate strategies to increase physician knowledge about dementia in order to promote early diagnosis
Keywords: Dementia, Education
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was actively involved in the design, implementation, analysis, writing, and presentation of this projects.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.