Alcohol screening in people with cognitive impairment: an exploratory study
L510 Health & Welfare
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AbstractObjective: Alcohol misuse can coexist with and/or contribute to the development of cognitive impairment in the older adult population but continues to be underestimated and undetected in older people. This study aimed to examine the feasibility and acceptability of routine screening for alcohol misuse in a small sample of older people with cognitive impairment receiving services in memory clinics. Methods: This study employed a qualitative and exploratory design, using a convenience sample of individuals attending a memory clinic in England. Ten service users older than 65 with a diagnosis of cognitive impairment (i.e., mild cognitive impairment or dementia) took part in the study. Individuals who met inclusion criteria were invited to take part in an hour-long interview, which included the interviewer administering the alcohol screening tools. Interview transcripts were analyzed using thematic analysis. Results: Participants were able to engage with the screening tools and could, with assistance, complete them in a collaborative and timely manner without distress. All participants reported that these tools were acceptable as part of the clinic assessment. Administering the screening tools was not time-consuming or difficult, making their use feasible within the memory clinic setting. While there were some challenges (e.g., arithmetic, recall, language problems), these challenges could be overcome with the aid of the person administering the screening tool using standardized techniques for assessment administration. Conclusions: Routine screening for alcohol misuse in older people with cognitive impairment receiving services in memory clinics is feasible and acceptable. The process of completing alcohol screening tools with older adults receiving services at memory clinics may increase awareness of the potential impact of alcohol on cognitive functioning and provide practitioners with an opportunity to educate service users about the ways that their drinking is affecting their memory. Several techniques to facilitate completion of screening tools were identified. Future research should evaluate the reliability and validity of alcohol screening tools with older people through corroborating screening results with other assessment methods.
CitationRandall-James, J, Wadd, S., Edwards, K., Thake, A.(2014) 'Alcohol Screening in People With Cognitive Impairment: An Exploratory Study'. Journal of Dual Diagnosis, 11 (1) pp65-74.
PublisherTaylor & Francis
JournalJournal of Dual Diagnosis
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