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Screening and Assessment for Delirium and Dementia 

Screening and Assessment for Delirium and Dementia
Screening and Assessment for Delirium and Dementia
Psycho-Oncology (3 ed.)

Reena Jaiswal

, Yesne Alici

, and William S. Breitbart


Delirium, cancer and cancer treatments, and comorbid depression predispose cancer patients to cognitive deficits. Intact cognitive functioning is essential for decision-making, for adherence to treatment recommendations, and for ability to carry out activities of daily living. It is therefore important to systematically screen for cognitive impairment in oncology settings, in particular among high-risk populations. Delirium is the most common cognitive syndrome encountered in hospitalized cancer patients. Dementia syndromes are more commonly seen in the aging population. Dementia due to severe malnutrition and related vitamin deficiencies, dementia due to thyroid abnormalities, and depression presenting as dementia are a few of the “reversible” dementia syndromes that should be taken into consideration in assessment of cancer patients with cognitive impairment. This chapter provides a comprehensive review of the screening and assessment measures used to identify and assess patients with delirium and/or dementia. A brief overview of common dementia syndromes is also included.

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