Screening Guideline Seeks to Aid Depression Detection in Adults with Dementia

November 6, 2015 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​Any adult over 60 should be screened periodically for depression, and screening is mandated in skilled nursing and home health settings, but detecting depression in individuals with cognitive impairment can be particularly challenging because of their inability to self-report symptoms. A new screening guideline, published in the November 2015 Journal of Gerontological Nursing, seeks to give physicians, advanced practice nurses (APNs), registered nurses, licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and social workers a tool to facilitate this screening. The three-step process begins with administration of the Mini-Mental State Examination and, depending on outcomes of that screening, includes use of the Geriatric Depression Scale Short Form or the Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia.

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