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January 1986

Physicians' Assessment of Cognitive Capacity: Failure to Meet the Needs of the Elderly

Author Affiliations

From the Section of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown University Program in Medicine, and Miriam Hospital, Providence, RI.

Arch Intern Med. 1986;146(1):177-178. doi:10.1001/archinte.1986.00360130215027

The major task of medicine with the geriatric population is to assist with the promotion of a vigorous quality of life and maintenance of function. The key to functioning is cognitive capacity. Evidence is offered that physicians are still not assessing their patients' intellectual functioning, despite its importance not just for coping, but also for the very maintenance of life. Dementia and delirium are too frequently missed. Deficits in attitude, skill, and knowledge all contribute to this failure. It must be addressed in medical education, both in medical school and in postgraduate medical education.

(Arch Intern Med 1986;146:177-178)

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