Caring for patients with dementia: the GP perspective.
Collins, K. E.
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Downs, M., Cook, A., Rae, C. & Collins, K. (2000) Caring for patients with dementia: the GP perspective., Aging & Mental Health, vol. 4, , pp. 301-304,
While general practitioners (GPs) have a central role to play in the effective primary care response to people with dementia and their families, concern has been raised as to the adequacy with which they fulfil this role. The purpose of this study was to assess GPs' views and practices regarding dementia diagnosis and management. A secondary goal was to determine whether practitioner characteristics were associated with these views and practices. A self-administered questionnaire was given to 278 GPs at the outset of a two-hour training seminar on dementia. Results suggest that GPs perceive considerable difficulties with some aspects of their care for their patients with dementia. In general, their self-reported approach to diagnosis and management of dementia was not consistent with recommended practice. Practitioner characteristics failed to distinguish those GPs whose practice was more in line with recommended practice. GPs endorsed a range of interventions that would assist them in better meeting the needs of people with dementia. The study confirms findings of earlier studies as to the adequacy with which GPs respond to people with dementia and their families. It provides additional information as to the particular difficulties GPs face and their perceived solutions to those challenges