Researchers have developed a self-reporting tool for patients with dementia that allows them to keep track of both cognitive decline and improvement.
The Healthy Aging Brain Center Monitor (HABC) was developed by a team from the Regenstrief Institute and the Indiana University Center for Aging Research, both in Indianapolis. It is essentially a questionnaire for dementia patients designed to measure 27 items on a four-point scale of cognitive, functional, and psychological symptoms.
The questionnaire asks patients things such as identifying the correct month and year and learning how to use a new tool or a recipe. Other questions provide psychological measures of a patient’s depression, anxiety, and appetite.
A study involved 291 elderly patients with multiple conditions, including dementia, who completed the HABC. The information reported by the patients provided an accurate assessment of their cognitive, functional, and psychological well-being, the researchers reported in the journal Clinical Interventions in Aging.
“Depression, anxiety, and inability to cope with demands of daily living are common in older adults,” Malaz Boustani, MD, the study’s lead author and an investigator at the Regenstrief Institute, said in a statement. “The patient self-reporting version of the HABC Monitor helps busy physicians accurately measure and monitor the severity of symptoms, providing valuable information that the patient's entire care team needs.”
The monitor is available for free with registration on a website. It is also available as an app on Apple products.
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Researchers from the Regenstrief Institute and the IU Center for Aging Research in Indianapolis have developed the Healthy Aging Brain Center Monitor (HABC) to measure 27 items on a four-point scale of cognitive, functional, and psychological symptoms. It’s reliable, sensitive, and an easier-than-ever way for patients to keep track of cognitive decline and improvement. The patient version comes on the heels of a successful version designed for caregivers in 2012.