Robert A. Murden, MD
To the editors: The review of dementia screening and evaluation by Siu (1) was well done. To be a useful clinical guide for the practicing physician, however, two points need to be emphasized.
First, the use of a criterion-based definition of dementia is essential. The major source of error in diagnosing dementia is in properly assessing its presence or absence. O'Connor and colleagues (2) demonstrated in a large community survey with extensive clinical evaluation that 42% (87 of 208) of demented patients were not recognized as demented by their personal physician. They also found that 22% (51 of 236) of
Murden RA. Dementia Screening. Ann Intern Med. ;115:657–658. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-115-8-657
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1991;115(8):657-658.
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