A Toolkit for Primary Care Teams

Article Index

The GSA KAER Toolkit, Fall 2020 Edition, is intended to support primary care teams in implementing a comprehensive approach to initiating conversations about brain health, detecting and diagnosing dementia, and providing individuals with community-based supports. It includes practical approaches, educational resources, and validated clinical tools that teams can integrate into their workflow.



January 2022 Updates

  • Under “Raise the topic of brain health and continue the conversation over subsequent visits” – added the USAgainstAlzheimer’s Clinician Guide on Risk Reduction, Primary Prevention Recommendations to Reduce the Risk of Cognitive Decline. See page 15.
  • Under “Listen for people’s concerns about memory and cognition” – added the USAgainstAlzheimer’s memory questionnaire, BrainGuide, that may be useful for patients who are concerned about their brain health, that of a loved one, of if they are an Alzheimer’s caregiver, it provides the tools needed to move forward confidentially. See page 16.

June 2022 Updates

  • Table K-2. Resources on Brain Health for Patients was updated to include the Global Council on Brain Health’s report, "How to Sustain Brain Healthy Behaviors: Applying Lessons of Public Health and Science to Drive Change." The report addresses actions that individuals, communities, and policymakers can take to promote healthy brain behaviors is also available in Spanish, and there are infographics to promote brain health available in several languages. The report was also added to page 15.

August 2022 Updates

  • Invited users of the KAER Toolkit to provide feedback. See page 4.
  • Showcased GSA’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and noted that, in line with this, GSA is committed to adding resources that support primary care teams to address the needs of individuals from diverse and under-served communities to the KAER Toolkit. See page 6.
  • Provided information about a comprehensive document from USAgainstAlzheimers detailing primary prevention recommendations to reduce the risk of cognitive decline, including recommended billing codes for primary care providers. See page 9.

The Toolkit is based on the KAER Framework, which consists of four steps: Kickstart, Assess, Evaluate, and Refer.






While the KAER Framework was originally developed for the primary care setting, it can be valuable to other health care professionals, educators and students.

Other relevant resources:

GSA KAER in the News

October 2020: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has awarded a $500,000, two-year research grant to review, refine, test, and evaluate components of the KAER Model in primary care. The recipient is Dr. Annette Fitzpatrick, Research Professor of Family Medicine at University of Washington and affiliate investigator of UW’s Health Promotion Research Center (a CDC Prevention Research Center). Dr. Fitzpatrick and her team will use the results from this study to provide recommendations for the practical application of the KAER Model and initiate steps for integrating tools into a broader reach of primary care practices within the multi-state UW Medicine network.

July 2021: At the Alzheimer's Association International Conference, Annette L. Fitzpatrick, PhD, presented on an ongoing quality initiative at the University of Washington based on the KAER Toolkit. The aim of the initiative is to increase and improve timely detection of cognitive impairment across primary care in 15 neighborhood clinics in the Pacific Northwest. Her presentation, titled "Evaluating a System to Promote Timely Detection of Cognitive Impairment in Primary Care Practice," described the Cognition in Primary Care Program which is working on implementing an adapted version of the GSA KAER Toolkit to all 16 primary care clinics at UW Medicine.

Inviting User Feedback

We are committed to the continuous improvement of the GSA KAER Toolkit. If you have input for us on the usability or content of the Toolkit, would like to work with GSA to develop new content or implement the KAER Model, please contact Karen Tracy (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

The 2022 KAER Program is developed by GSA and supported by Acadia Pharmaceuticals, Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Eli Lilly and Company, Genentech, and Otsuka Pharmaceutical.

avanir   avanir
avanir   avanir



Share This Page!

Print Page