Date of Publication
In 2010, 11,382 Vermonters were diagnosed with dementia, many of whom had Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In 2025, an estimated 1 in 8 Vermonters aged 65 or older will have some form of dementia. Reported rates of overlooked dementia are between 35% and 90% or greater. Clinical presentations of dementia are often insidious and attributed to aging, making an accurate diagnosis difficult. Because of the challenges of dementia screening and diagnosis, primary care physicians (PCPs) are often unwilling to diagnose, discuss, and treat dementia due to AD.3 Although physicians are reluctant to screen for dementia, research in Vermont (VT) has shown a clear preference by patients and their families for earlier diagnosis. A timely diagnosis allows the patient and their family to plan for the future and start treatment earlier. Our research demonstrated PCPs may be misinformed about the usefulness and implications of dementia screening and diagnosis. In an effort to further educate physicians, we propose instituting a mandatory continuing medical education (CME) hour focused on screening for dementia. Our project surveyed 72 physicians to determine their attitudes towards screening, the assessment tools they use, and their attitudes towards a required CME hour.
Maggie Lewis, Alzheimer's Association, Vermont Chapter
Martha Richardson, Alzheimer's Association, Vermont Chapter
Jeanne Hutchins, MA, University of Vermont College of Medicine
William Pendlebury, MD, University of Vermont College of Medicine
Alzheimer's Association Vermont Chapter
Access to Health Services, Dementias, Including Alzheimer's Disease, Educational and Community-Based Programs, Health-Related Quality of Life & Well-Being, Older Adults
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Brown, Bryan; Faraci, Jessica; Kanjiya, Shrey; Landell, Elizabeth; Liu, Marisa; Rosen, Emily; Schned, Eli; Pendlebury, William; Hutchins, Jeanne; and Richardson, Martha, "Promoting Screening of Cognitive Impairment and Dementia in Vermont: A proposal for ongoing continuing medical education (CME)" (2013). Public Health Projects, 2008-present. 80.