TITLE

Clinical practice patterns of generalists and specialists in Alzheimer's disease: What are the differences, and what difference do they make?

AUTHOR(S)
ROBINSON, L.; VELLAS, B.; KNOX, S.; LINS, K.
PUB. DATE
July 2010
SOURCE
Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging;Jul2010, Vol. 14 Issue 7, p545
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Optimising the roles played by both generalists and specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD) could have a major impact on the quality and cost of patient care. Therefore, one aim of the IMPACT survey was to characterise the similarities and differences between these 2 categories of physicians, in 5 different European countries, across a number of domains relevant to the medical care of people at risk for AD and those with the disease. Physician respondents comprised 250 generalists and 250 specialists from 5 European countries-France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. A substantial majority of generalists were either general practitioners or family physicians; the majority of specialists were neurologists. In April and May 2009, physician respondents completed a 30-minute, Web-based questionnaire during which they were presented with a number of multiple-choice-type questions concerning their knowledge of AD, approach to diagnosis and treatment of AD and experience of providing care for people with dementia. Generalists reported that 45% of their AD patients had mild symptoms at the initial visit compared with 60% for specialists (P<0.001). Specialists claimed that they diagnose patients with AD themselves in 65% of cases versus 33% for generalists (P<0.001). The main prescription treatment options employed were AD-specific medication (90%) and medication for mood or behaviour (78%). A similar percentage of generalists and specialists (77% and 75%) initiate drug treatment within 1 month of diagnosis. Overall, there were more similarities than differences between specialists and generalists regarding a broad spectrum of issues relating to AD; differences between countries appear to be greater than differences between physician groups.
ACCESSION #
53873613

 

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