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Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2009;27(6):534-42. doi: 10.1159/000223664. Epub 2009 Jun 9.

Diagnostic evaluation of dementia in the secondary health care sector.

Author information

1
Memory Disorders Research Group, Department of Neurology, Copenhagen University Hospital Rigshospitalet, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark. thien.phung@mail.mcgill.ca

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

We conducted a nationwide registry-based study of the quality of diagnostic evaluation for dementia in the secondary health care sector.

METHOD:

Two hundred patients were randomly selected from the patient population (4,682 patients) registered for the first time with a dementia diagnosis in the nationwide hospital registries during the last 6 months of 2003. Through medical record review, we evaluated the completeness of the work-up on which the dementia diagnosis was based, using evidence-based dementia guidelines as reference standards.

RESULTS:

Satisfactory or acceptable completion of the basic dementia work-up was documented in 51.3% of the patients. Only 11.5% of those with unsatisfactory work-up were referred to follow-up investigations. Dementia syndrome was confirmed in 88.5% of the cases, but correct subtypes were diagnosed in only 35.1%.

CONCLUSION:

The adherence to clinical guidelines concerning dementia work-up is inadequate in the secondary health care sector. Our findings call for improvement in the organization of clinical dementia care, for education of specialists and for changes in attitude towards making a diagnosis of dementia.

PMID:
19506375
DOI:
10.1159/000223664
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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