J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  2005 Dec;9(2):108-111.

Difference between Subjective and Objective Estimates of Dementia in the Community Elderly

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Catholic University of Daegu School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea. jpak@cu.ac.kr
  • 2Korean Institute of Gerontology, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Division of Elderly Long-Term Care, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4Department of Social Policy Research, Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, Seoul, Korea.


Evaluation of how much the presence of dementia is underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed in the elderly population by themselves. METHOD: The number of self-professed dementia cases was compared to the estimated number of cases with cognitive impairment based on the Korean version of the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSEK) employed in a nationwide survey "Need assessment of the long-term care in the elderly" in three representative areas of Korea. The would-be dementia cases were analyzed.
Only eighteen (0.7%) of 2,638 reported the presence of dementia while 414 (15.7%) were diagnosed as having questionable cognitive impairment and 385 (14.6%) as having definite cognitive impairment on the MMSEK. On the other hand, some of the self-professed "dementia" cases were not impaired on the MMSEK.
The public should be educated on clinical manifestations of dementia for its early diagnosis and appropriate treatment because they are mostly without understanding about dementia.


Aged; Dementia; Diagnosis; Epidemiology
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