Routine Cognitive Screening by PALTC Therapy Providers May Improve Care Coordination

February 8, 2023

February 8, 2023

Contact: Ellen Mullally

Routine cognitive screening and assessment by therapy providers in post-acute care settings may promote improved care coordination, according to a new study in the February issue of JAMDA. The authors examined the frequency of cognitive screening and assessment in documentation across post-acute care settings, as well as the relationship of these efforts with contextual factors and outcomes.

In Examining Real-World Therapy Practice of Cognitive Screening and Assessment in Post-Acute Care, the authors conducted a descriptive analysis of documentation related to cognitive screening and assessment. They found that during a post-acute care stay, 38% of patients had documentation of cognitive screening by any therapy discipline. Patterns of documentation varied across disciplines and post-acute settings. Documentation of standardized cognitive assessments was limited, occurring for less than 2% of patients. Admission for stroke was associated with significantly higher odds of cognitive screening or assessment compared to patients with other diagnoses.

For patients receiving occupational therapy services, it was more common to have documentation of cognitive screening or assessment in skilled nursing (84.6%) and home health (71.8%) compared to inpatient rehabilitation.

Cognitive screening, the authors said, was not significantly associated with 30-day readmission. Patients admitted with a diagnosis of total hip or knee joint replacement were associated with significantly lower odds of 30-day readmissions compared to eight of nine other diagnoses. The authors found inconsistent documentation of cognitive screening and assessment across disciplines and post-acute settings, which could be in part due to variation in electronic health record platforms. They noted, “Future work can expand on these results to understand the degree to which contextual factors facilitate or inhibit routine delivery and documentation of cognitive screening and assessment. Findings can support implementation of standardized data elements to lead to improved care coordination and outcomes.”

The study was conducted by researchers in the Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA; and School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, PA.

Get more information on the findings above and more details about the study. To contact the researchers or JAMDA editors for an interview, please email





JAMDA is the official journal of AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine. JAMDA publishes peer-reviewed articles including original studies, reviews, clinical experience articles, case reports, and more, on all topics more important to post-acute and long-term care medicine. Visit for more information.

About AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine
AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine is the only medical specialty society representing the community of over 50,000 medical directors, physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other practitioners working in the various post-acute and long-term care (PALTC) settings. Dedicated to defining and improving quality, we advance our mission through timely professional development, evidence-based clinical guidance, and tireless advocacy on behalf of members, patients, families, and staff. Visit for more information.