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Rapid screening for neurocognitive deficits in older adults now available

LUTZ, Fla.—Early screening of dementia symptoms in older adults is critical to ensure timely treatment and intervention.

The Older Adult Cognitive Screener (OACS) is an all-digital informant rating scale that enables providers to evaluate mental status in patients ages 55–90 years. Results can assist with follow-up determinations, including initiating or referring patients for comprehensive diagnostic testing.

A significant advantage is the brevity of the test—administration and scoring take only 5–10 minutes. The questionnaire is completed online by an individual close to the patient—for example, a relative, a friend, or a member of nursing staff.

Another significant advantage of the OACS is its digital format, which aligns well with today’s telehealth models and enables providers to continue testing even when social distancing is required.

Authors Cecil R. Reynolds, PhD, and Erin D. Bigler, PhD, aimed to provide a rapid, cost-effective, and valid means of screening older adults for cognitive dysfunction. To do so, they ensured their test items aligned directly with the six principal domains of neurocognitive function identified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5)—executive function, complex attention, language, perceptual–motor, social cognition, and learning and memory—and they included a measure of activities of daily living (ADLs), important for determining how the patient performs common physical tasks.

Designed to be used in medical settings by primary care and specialty physicians, the OACS may also be administered and scored by nursing staff and properly trained clerical staff. It is also useful for clinical psychologists, neuropsychologists, and others who treat older adults clinically in mental health settings, including nursing homes and community mental health centers.

To learn more, or to order the OACS, visit visit parinc.com/OACS, or call PAR Customer Support at 1.800.331.8378.

Founded in 1978, PAR is a leading publisher of assessment instruments, software, and other related materials. Over the past three decades, PAR has earned a reputation for providing customers with innovative assessment solutions and unparalleled customer service.