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Early screening for Alzheimer's disease in Persons of the African Diaspora

African Americans are frequently identified as a cohort of the population at a high risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. This quality improvement project was developed to assess the feasibility of an intervention to a small group of African Americans about modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors, early signs and symptoms, benefits of early detection and treatment of cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease. The project provided understanding regarding health promotion and health maintenance initiatives designed for dissemination among African Americans who may be at increased risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. Purpose: The Beat Alzheimer’s Disease by Knowing your Risk and Early Detection initiative was designed to pilot test the self-created pre/posttests and evaluation tool (Watson, 2017) used to educate African Americans about risk factors, the importance of early screening, and the detection of cognitive impairment. Methods: This Project was a piloted educational quality improvement initiative in which participants were educated about cognitive impairment. A pretest was given, followed by the educational intervention, then a posttest, and program evaluation. The project was conducted in collaboration with a community health district and a church in Hamden, Connecticut. Results: Scores on the posttest (M = 13.1, SD = 1.45) were higher than the scores on the pretest (M = 11.5, SD = 3.21). The knowledge scores were not significant, with the one-tail t tests (9) = 1.35, and p = .105. Conclusion: The Beat Alzheimer’s Disease by Knowing your Risk and Early Detection and the program evaluation tool completed by the project participants provides positive guidance for a larger project in the future.
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