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Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders:
doi: 10.1097/WAD.0b013e318298fa7e
Original Articles

Factors Affecting Dementia Screening by General Practitioners in Community-dwelling Elderly Populations: A Large Cross-Sectional Study in 2 Areas of France

Gaboreau, Yoann MD*; Imbert, Patrick MD*; Jacquet, Jean-Pierre MD*; Paumier, Françoise MD*; Couturier, Pascal MD, PhD; Gavazzi, Gaëtan MD, PhD

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Abstract

In patients aged 75 years and above, dementia is associated with increased expenditure and high morbimortality. Although the incidence of dementia is well known, it is often underrecognized in primary care. We conducted a cross-sectional study in 2 areas in the southeast of France to identify the factors affecting dementia-screening implementation by the French general practitioners (GPs). In May 2008, an anonymized survey was sent by e-mail and/or post to all GPs with a large clinic practice. Two months later, reminder letters were sent. Overall, 493 GPs answered (26.8%) to self-reported behavior. Of these, 73.2% felt that annual screening was useful, although only 24.5% implemented it each year and 17.5% implemented it every 2 to 5 years. Factors that favorably influenced screening practices were: the older age of the GPs; belief in the usefulness of annual dementia screening; increased frequency of follow-up visits by elderly patients; and the proportion of dementia in the GP’s practice. The main barrier to annual screening was the social problems encountered in the medical care of 75-year-old patients. Regardless of the differences in European national health policies or health care systems, all GPs encounter the same difficulties when dealing with elderly dementia patients.

Copyright © 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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