A recently published study has investigated the diagnostic test accuracy of two informant tools when used to diagnose dementia in patients with delirium.
It is common for older hospital patients to have both dementia and delirium; the latter is often undiagnosed as the delirium interferes with the use of cognitive testing for diagnosing dementia.
The study cites the need for new tests given the confounding effect of delirium.
The tools tested were the IQCODE-SF and the AD8 (when used for diagnosing DSM-IV dementia).
As part of the study, on admission to hospital, people aged over 70 were assessed for the presence of dementia using the short form of the Informant Questionnaire of Cognitive Decline in the Elderly (IQCODE-SF) and Alzheimer’s Disease 8 (AD8).
The conclusions drawn from the results were that the IQCODE-SF and AD8 are sensitive and specific tools, able to detect prior dementia in older people with delirium. The authors suggest that the routine use of either tool in practice could improve the recognition and subsequent management of those with dementia.
Jackson, T. A., MacLullich, A. M. J., Gladman, J. R. F., Lord, J. M., and Sheehan, B. (2016) ‘Diagnostic test accuracy of informant-based tools to diagnose dementia in older hospital patients with delirium: a prospective cohort study’, Age and Ageing, pp. 45: 505-511.
Twiddlemitts are being used to provide sensory stimulation to patients who are experiencing the more advanced stages of dementia.
The benefits of providing sensory stimulation at this point can be enormous. The patients’ mood is improved and positive behaviours are encouraged.
The twiddlemitts can help individuals with dementia to relax and achieve or maintain a state of well-being.
Twiddlemitts, or twiddlemuffs, are handknitted tubes decorated with zips, pendants, beads etc.
Volunteers have set up social groups to make twiddlemitts so they not only provide stimulation for those with dementia, they provide social interaction for a wider range of people.
Picture courtesy of Jane Dickson: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cluttercup/25666441942/in/photolist-EQcbV3-Ek2CTJ-F74ZXb-FfrvNh-EknzH4-F74dZ5-Ek2FNS-Ekomrx-Ek3hgj-F9m7GZ-EknG2M-bthRaT-bthR9a-bthRat-bthR4v-bthShv-bthRbT-bthR7p-bthS1n-bthReV-bs8bN6-bthR4D-F9kXJt-F9m54H-F757oh-bthSir-bs8bmp-bthRd4-bthR5k-bthRci-bthR5P-bs8e2D-bs8e24-bs8e3n/
The Alzheimer’s Society is launching a campaign to tackle what it calls an ‘unacceptable national variation in the quality of hospital care across England’. An investigation has revealed that an alarming number of people with dementia are falling while in hospital, being discharged during the night or are left in hospital despite their treatment having been completed.
The Alzheimer’s Society has published the findings of its investigation which was comprised of FOI requests to NHS Trusts in England and a significant survey of people receiving dementia care in hospitals.
For more information about the campaign, Fix Dementia Care, and relevant research, visit the Alzheimer’s Society web site.
Alzheimer’s Society (2016) Shocking variation of hospital care for people with dementia exposed. Available at: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/news_article.php?newsID=2537