Article of the month February 2019

For the month February the website committee selected the paper of Woods B, Arosio F, Diaz A, et al. Timely diagnosis of dementia? Family carers’ experiences in 5 European countries. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2019;34:114–121. .

This study looks into what extent timely diagnosis of dementia are provided in Europe, associated factors associated, and the impact of the quality of diagnostic disclosure on caregivers. A survey was conducted amongst 1.409 informal carers, who recruited through five Alzheimer’s Associations in Czech Republic, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, and Scotland.

Almost half of the respondents felt hat an earlier diagnosis would be more useful. Identified factors identified associated with delayed diagnoses were refusal by the person with dementia, professional attitudes, lack of awareness, and system delays.

Although timely diagnosis of dementia is recommended in national strategies, and professional attitudes seem to improve, the findings do not indicate that the proportion of timely diagnoses is improving in Europe. More work on public awareness and professional responses is needed to improve this.