Aim To evaluate two cognitive tests for case-finding for cognitive impairment in older patients with Type 2 diabetes.
Methods Of 1243 invited patients with Type 2 diabetes, aged >= 70 years, 228 participated in a prospective cohort study. Exclusion criteria were: diagnosis of dementia; previous investigation at a memory clinic; and inability to write or read. Patients first filled out two self-administered cognitive tests (Test Your Memory and Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination). Secondly, a general practitioner, blinded to Test Your Memory and Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination scores, performed a structured evaluation using the Mini-Mental State Examination. Subsequently, patients suspected of cognitive impairment (on either the cognitive tests or general practitioner evaluation) and a random sample of 30% of patients not suspected of cognitive impairment were evaluated at a memory clinic. Diagnostic accuracy and area under the curve were determined for the Test Your Memory, Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination and general practitioner evaluation compared with a memory clinic evaluation to detect cognitive impairment (mild cognitive impairment or dementia).
Results A total of 44 participants were diagnosed with cognitive impairment. The Test Your Memory and Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination questionnaires had negative predictive values of 81 and 85%, respectively. Positive predictive values were 39 and 40%, respectively. The general practitioner evaluation had a negative predictive value of 83% and positive predictive value of 64%. The area under the curve was similar to 0.70 for all tests.
Conclusions Both the tests evaluated in the present study can easily be used in case-finding strategies for cognitive impairment in patients with Type 2 diabetes in primary care. The Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination had the best diagnostic accuracy and therefore we would have a slight preference for this test. Applying the Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination would considerably reduce the number of patients in whom the general practitioner needs to evaluate cognitive functioning to tailor diabetes treatment.