Background: Early detection and diagnosis is critical in enhancing treatment outcomes for those with cognitive disease. However, most Japanese patients are averse to visiting mental health clinics or taking cognitive screening examinations. A new simple screening test is needed that is acceptable to patients and encourages them to visit a memory clinic if indicated. Methods: We developed a brief screening examination, consisting of four common Japanese old stories, for detection of cognitive disease. A total of 311 patients at three outpatient memory clinics completed the screening test, responding to a 10-question, fill-in-the-blanks assessment. Questions were read aloud to patients with visual impairment, and we transcribed the spoken responses of patients who were physically incapable of writing. The Hasegawa Dementia Scale-Revised (HDS-R) and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) were administered at the same time. Results: Using the developed Japanese Old Stories Cognitive Scale (JOSS), we found significant differences between dementia and control or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) groups. The JOSS was less affected by education level than the HDS-R or MMSE, possibly because Japanese old stories are usually learned from family members during preschool years. The JOSS may be able to detect remote memory disturbance in addition to other cognitive dysfunctions. Conclusions: Most patients with AD, even in advanced stages, are averse to visiting a memory clinic because it can be difficult to accept any resulting diagnosis of cognitive disease. JOSS is a quick and simple screening tool to gather evidence of cognitive dysfunction and prompt a referral to a memory clinic. Patients with cognitive disease found the JOSS acceptable, and its high specificity could be useful in encouraging patients to visit already-crowded memory clinics for formal diagnosis and intervention.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geriatrics and Gerontology
- Psychiatry and Mental health