Identifying Patients With Dementia in Primary Care (GEMS)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00289471
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : February 9, 2006
Results First Posted : August 26, 2014
Last Update Posted : May 1, 2015
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
VA Office of Research and Development

Brief Summary:

Veterans who completed GEMS-Phase 1 will be asked to participate in GEMS-Phase 2 to determine the accuracy of methods used to assess mild memory problems. This will better help us evaluate the screening test completed in GEMS-Phase 1. The goals are:

  1. Compare the assessment of memory made at the initial visit to assessments of memory made at the second evaluation.
  2. Determine of veterans with mild memory problems have improvement or worsening of these memory problems over time. Our long-term goal remains to optimize the quality of care for veterans with cognitive impairment. We will also determine if patient characteristics can be used to target case-finding, describe the current process of care and evaluate the association between cognitive impairment and overall- and dementia-related health care utilization and costs.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment
Dementia Memory Disorders Other: No intervention delivered.

Detailed Description:
Dementia has high public health significance due to its prevalence, adverse impact on patients and caregivers, high economic cost to society and the rapidly expanding numbers of individuals age 65 and older. As the largest provider of geriatric care in the U.S., dementia is particularly relevant to the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). However, only a small proportion of patients with dementia are diagnosed early when treatments are most effective and the opportunity for careful life planning remains, in part because of the absence of feasible, well-validated case-finding instruments. Our long-term objective is to improve the care and outcomes of veterans with clinically significant cognitive impairment. The first steps towards realizing this objective are to determine the acceptability of cognitive screening to patients and to identify feasible, valid case-finding tools for primary care. We will also determine if patient characteristics can be used to target case-finding, describe the current process of care and evaluate the association between cognitive impairment and overall- and dementia-related health care utilization and costs. Our research team, located in the Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care, brings together researchers uniquely suited to achieving this objective. Specific Aims1.Primary Aim: To determine if cognitive screening is acceptable to patients, and whether brief cognitive screeners perform as well as the longer Modified Mini-Mental Status Exam (3MS) for dementia and cognitive impairment-not dementia (CIND).Primary Hypothesis 1: Higher perceived risk of dementia, higher perceived benefits and fewer perceived harms from screening will be positively associated with screening acceptance. Primary Hypotheses 2: Compared to the 3MS, the Mini-Cog, Memory Impairment Screen and 2-item functional screen will have similar performance characteristics. 2.Secondary Aim 1: To determine if sociodemographic and clinical characteristics available in the electronic medical record can be used to target individuals for cognitive screening and improve screening accuracy. Hypothesis: The combination of sociodemographic characteristics/clinical information and screening results will more accurately discriminate between demented and non-demented patients than screening results alone.3.Secondary Aim 2: To describe current care for an inception cohort with dementia or cognitive impairment-not dementia. Hypothesis: Compared to patients with dementia, patients with cognitive impairment-not dementia will undergo less diagnostic testing, be less likely to complete an advanced directive and be less likely to receive dementia specific medications. 4.Exploratory Aim: To evaluate the association between cognitive impairment and overall- and dementia-related health care utilization and costs. Exploratory Hypothesis: Controlling for sociodemographic characteristics and medical comorbidity, overall healthcare utilization and costs will increase as cognitive impairment increases. In phase 1, a random sample of primary care patients age 65 years will be recruited from 3 primary care clinics to complete the Modified Dementia Screening Acceptance and Perceived Harms Questionnaire. In phase 2, patients will complete three brief instruments and the standard 15-item 3MS that will be compared to a criterion standard interview for dementia. We project 140-200 patients will have dementia, 200-300 CIND, and approximately 600 will be cognitively normal. Instruments will be compared using sensitivity/specificity, likelihood ratios and receiver operating characteristic curves. The emotional impact of screening will be assessed following screening. Clinical and sociodemographic characteristics available in the Computerized Patient Record System, together with cognitive screening results, will be analyzed with logistic regression models to identify risk factors that may be used to target individuals for cognitive screening and/or improve screening accuracy. Care patterns for patients with dementia and CIND will be described based on detailed chart abstractions. For the exploratory analysis on cognitive impairment and utilization, two-part utilization models will be estimated for each utilization type, outpatient clinic visits, inpatient visits, pharmacy utilization, and other utilization types; utilization data will be obtained from administrative data.

Study Type : Observational
Actual Enrollment : 630 participants
Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional
Official Title: Dementia in Primary Care: Setting the Stage for Quality Improvement
Study Start Date : October 2009
Actual Primary Completion Date : December 2009
Actual Study Completion Date : October 2010

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Dementia Memory

Group/Cohort Intervention/treatment
Cognitive Screening
Cognitive screening
Other: No intervention delivered.
No intervention delivered.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Performance Characteristics [ Time Frame: Cross-sectional [at baseline; no longitudinal component] ]
    Sensitivity and Specificity for Modified Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE), a measure scored 0-100 to assess cognitive impairment

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   65 Years and older   (Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Sampling Method:   Probability Sample
Study Population
Veterans' who have previously completed GEMS-Phase 1 testing, continues to be a VA clinic patient and identifies a key family member or friend who will answer questions about the veteran's memory and daily activities.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Previous participant who completed GEMS-Phase 1
  • Continues to be a VA clinic patient
  • Identifies a key informant with phone

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Severe hearing or visual impairment
  • Acute medical condition

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00289471

United States, North Carolina
Durham VA Medical Center HSR&D COE
Durham, North Carolina, United States, 27705
Sponsors and Collaborators
VA Office of Research and Development
Principal Investigator: John W Williams, MD MHS Durham VA Medical Center

Publications of Results:
Responsible Party: VA Office of Research and Development Identifier: NCT00289471     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: IIR 05-112
First Posted: February 9, 2006    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: August 26, 2014
Last Update Posted: May 1, 2015
Last Verified: April 2015

Keywords provided by VA Office of Research and Development:
Sensitivity and specificity
Physician's practice patterns
Health Care costs
Quality of Health Care

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Memory Disorders
Brain Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Neurocognitive Disorders
Mental Disorders
Neurobehavioral Manifestations
Neurologic Manifestations
Signs and Symptoms