There is no evidence base for proposed dementia screening

Re: There is no evidence base for proposed dementia screening

8 January 2013

Attempting to screen for dementia involves redfining the term ' screening'. One would only screen if there is a means of modifying or treating the condition being screened for with a view to prevent or delay its development or to ameliorate its effects by appropriate and timely therapy. On this criterion alone screening for dementia fails.

Screening provides patients and families with a misguided promise of early therapy when this is simply not the case.

Additionally there is no basis for doing any tests to look for dementia without informed consent.

Finally 'screening' would increase the anguish of patients and their families.

None of the foregoing however, would detract from the need to investigate when there is a clincal need for it.

Competing interests: None declared

Ken Menon, GP

The Ongar Surgery, High Street, Ongar, Essex CM5 9AA

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