Objective To examine frequency of cognitive screening instrument (CSI) use in primary care referrals to a cognitive clinic and compare with previous cohorts.
Results Of 185 consecutive new outpatients (July–December 2013), 140 referrals (75.7%) were from primary care; 44 (31.4%) had evidence for CSI use based on the referral letter. In previous cohorts from primary care CSI frequencies were 20.9% (Oct 2004–Sept 2006), 25.9% (Feb 2008–Feb 2009), and 26.8% (Feb 2009–Feb 2010). The null hypothesis that the proportion of CSI use in primary care did not differ significantly in sequential cohorts was not rejected (χ2=3.94, df=3, p>0.1). However, there was an increase in the proportion of patients administered newer CSI suitable for primary care use (6CIT, GPCOG) compared to older CSI (MMSE, AMTS) in the 2013 cohort (0.48 vs 0.43) compared to sum of the previous 3 cohorts (0.04 vs 0.91).
Conclusions Although there has been no overall increase in CSI use in primary care referrals, the use of CSI appropriate for primary care use is increasing.
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