Background: Access to cognitive screening in rural underserved communities is limited and was further diminished during the COVID-19 pandemic. We examined whether a telephone-based cognitive screening intervention would be effective in increasing ADRD knowledge, detecting the need for further cognitive evaluation, and making and tracking the results of referrals.

Method: Using a dependent t-test design, older, largely African American and Afro-Caribbean participants completed a brief educational intervention, pre/post AD knowledge measure, and cognitive screening.

Results: Sixty of 85 eligible individuals consented. Seventy-percent of the sample self-reported as African American, Haitian Creole, or Hispanic, and 75% were female, with an average age of 70. AD knowledge pre-post scores improved significantly (t (49) = −3.4, p < .001). Of the 11 referred after positive cognitive screening, 72% completed follow-up with their provider. Five were newly diagnosed with dementia. Three reported no change in diagnosis or treatment. Ninety-percent consented to enrolling in a registry for future research.

Conclusion: Remote engagement is feasible for recruiting, educating, and conducting cognitive screening with rural older adults during a pandemic.

Document Type


Publication Date


Notes/Citation Information

Published in Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, v. 7.

© The Author(s) 2021

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Funding Information

This study is supported by National Institutes of Aging (K01AG064047).