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Alzheimers Dement. 2009 Nov;5(6):498-502. doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2009.01.024.

Closing the dementia care gap: Can referral to Alzheimer's Association chapters help?

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University of California at Los Angeles, USA.


The quality of care provided by primary-care physicians for patients with dementia remains poor, in part because physicians do not provide counseling and education. Local Alzheimer's Association chapters have the potential to improve the quality of care provided for dementia, but are hampered by a lack of referrals from primary-care physicians. Many physicians remain unaware of the services available through Alzheimer's Association chapters, but recognize the need to provide support to families, ensure patient safety, and manage behavioral problems. At present, systems to promote referrals and communication with local chapters are lacking. Practice redesign may facilitate linkages between practices and Alzheimer's Association chapters. However, if these linkages are to be adopted and sustained, they must demonstrate a relative advantage to physicians beyond the care they currently provide, and must be compatible with how care is currently delivered in their practices.

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