I.4 Arm circumference measurements for patients with dementia
Many patients eligible for Hospice care during their final six months of life are inappropriately discharged from Hospice or not properly screened for inclusion in Hospice, due to lack of accurate means for assessing remaining life-span. This is especially true for dementia patients for whom physical assessments are problematic. One acceptable method of determining Hospice eligibility is documented weight-loss over short intervals of time. There are a number of methods, many of which are problematic in various care settings such as scales patients are required to stand upon. Arm-circumference is a clinically useful technique for weight-loss measurement but some major issues exist. For example, inter- and intra-person variability in making arm circumference measurements make it almost completely unreliable without substantial improvement. This project seeks a device-related means of making arm circumference measurements that is accurate, reproducible and reliable for a wide variety of dementia patients.