PurposeThe assessment of cognitive impairment in community services for older people remains under-explored. The paper aims to discuss this issue.Design/methodology/approachCognitive impairment was examined in 25 people aged 65 and over with alcohol use disorders, on the caseload of community mental health services over a six-month period. All subjects assessed using Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Assessment (ACE-III).FindingsIn total, 76 per cent of the group scored below the cut-off point for likely dementia but only 45 per cent of people scored below the cut-off point for tests of language, compared with 68-84 per cent people in other domains.Research limitations/implicationsThis finding has implications for the detection of alcohol-related brain cognitive impairment in clinical settings.Practical implicationsStandardised cognitive testing is common within mental health services for older people, but may also have utility within addiction services.Social implicationsThe early detection of alcohol-related cognitive impairment can improve social outcomes in both drinking behaviour and the social consequences of alcohol-related dementia.Originality/valueThis may be the first published study of cognitive impairment in patients under a mental team for older people with alcohol use disorders and offers some unique findings within this sampling frame.
Advances in Dual Diagnosis – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 21, 2016