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Attitudes to diagnosis and management in dementia care: views of future general practitioners

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Eugene Tang, Dr Louise Robinson

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This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Cambridge University Press, 2018.

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Abstract

Considerable international governmental support is focused on the timely diagnosis of dementia and post-diagnostic care of people with dementia. Identifying those at high risk of dementia is one approach to timely diagnosis. General practitioners (GPs) are well-placed clinicians in the community to provide both pre- and post-diagnostic dementia care. However, GPs have in the past consistently demonstrated low confidence in both diagnosing dementia and providing care for these complex patients particularly for patients in the post-diagnostic phase. It is currently unclear how future GPs view dementia care. We aimed to evaluate the current attitudes and experiences of future GPs in dementia care and their views on targeting high risk groups. All (n = 513) GP trainees were approached by email to participate in a cross-sectional web and paper-based survey in the North of England. A further reminder was sent out two months after the initial invitation. We received 153 responses (29.8% response rate, 66.7% female, average age 31 (range 25–55 years old). The main difficulties encountered included coordinating supporting services for carers and the person with dementia and responding to co-existing behavioral and psychiatric symptoms. Further education in dementia management was considered to be important by respondents. GP trainees were generally very positive about their future role in caring for people with dementia, particularly in the area of earlier diagnosis via identification of high-risk individuals. Future GPs in one area of England are very positive about their key role in dementia care. In order to facilitate the delivery of high quality, community-based care, work is required to establish core post-diagnostic dementia support services. Further research is needed to identify effective systems to enable accurate assessment and to ensure earlier diagnosis in high-risk groups.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Tang EY, Birdi R, Robinson L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Psychogeriatrics

Year: 2018

Volume: 30

Issue: 3

Pages: 425-430

Print publication date: 01/03/2018

Online publication date: 09/08/2016

Acceptance date: 01/07/2016

Date deposited: 20/10/2016

ISSN (print): 1041-6102

ISSN (electronic): 1741-203X

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1041610216001204

DOI: 10.1017/S1041610216001204

PubMed id: 27502828


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