Identification of dementia cases in the community: A Brazilian experience
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, v. 53, n. 10, p. 1738-1742, 2005.
Universidade Estadual Paulista (Unesp)
Universidade de São Paulo (USP)
Kings Coll London
OBJECTIVES: To describe the application in Brazil of a simple, low-cost procedure, developed in India by the 10/66 Dementia Research Group, for the identification of dementia cases in the community.DESIGN: Community-based dementia case-finding method.SETTING: Piraju, São Paulo, Brazil.PARTICIPANTS: Twenty-five community health workers were trained to identify dementia cases in 2,222 people aged 65 and older in Piraju, a Brazilian town with 27,871 inhabitants.MEAUREMENTS: After the training, the health workers prepared a list of possible cases that afterward an experienced psychiatrist clinically evaluated, according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), criteria and the Clinical Dementia Rating.RESULTS: of the 72 cases that were clinically assessed, 45 met the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for dementia. Therefore, the positive predictive value of this case finding method was 62.5%; the estimated frequency of dementia was 2%. Most of the confirmed cases met clinical criteria for Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia.CONCLUSION: This simple method was appropriate to identify cases of dementia in the general population and can possibly be extended to other developing countries with limited resources to be applied in health programs.