Telephone screening of the elderly

Telephone screening of the elderly in a GP's practice.

This is a pilot study to investigate whether it is feasible to use telephone-based screening via a GP’s practice in order to identify people with mild cognitive impairment and who thus have a higher risk of developing dementia.

Background and project description

Dementia is a chronic and often progressive disease that leads to impaired mental capacity and the failure of psychological processes such as memory, attention, learning, thinking and communication. In Norway there are an estimated 71 000 people with dementia resulting in approximately 350 000 people being affected by the disease ( There are several reasons why the signs of cognitive impairment are not discovered until after dementia has developed. These include difficulties recognizing early symptoms of the disease and poor access to health care services. Identifying individuals with mild cognitive impairment and who thus have a higher risk of developing dementia will afford people the opportunity to try various interventions to slow disease progression, and plan for the future.

Telephone-based screening has been shown to be effective at detecting signs of cognitive decline. Therefore interviews and standardized tests administered over the telephone can be used to identify people who are at risk of developing dementia. Telephone-based services can be made available to anyone, regardless of where they live. This pilot project will provide telephone-based screening of mild cognitive impairment to the patient via a GP practice. The cooperating GP will be responsible for the monitoring of patients.

Project Partners

The project is conducted by the Norwegian Centre for Integrated Care and Telemedicine (NST).


The project is funded by the Northern Norwegian Regional Health Authority (Helse Nord RHF).

Project collaborator

Ingun Wilsgård (former employee at NST), tel.: +47 907 38 666

Last updated

15 December 2016