Differences in diagnostic process, treatment and social support for Alzheimer's dementia between primary and specialist care: results from the Swedish Dementia Registry
2016 (English)In: Age and Ageing, ISSN 0002-0729, E-ISSN 1468-2834Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
BACKGROUND: the increasing prevalence of Alzheimer's dementia (AD) has shifted the burden of management towards primary care (PC). Our aim is to compare diagnostic process and management of AD in PC and specialist care (SC).
DESIGN: cross-sectional study.
SUBJECTS: a total of, 9,625 patients diagnosed with AD registered 2011-14 in SveDem, the Swedish Dementia Registry.
METHODS: descriptive statistics are shown. Odds ratios are presented for test performance and treatment in PC compared to SC, adjusted for age, sex, Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and number of medication.
RESULTS: a total of, 5,734 (60%) AD patients from SC and 3,891 (40%) from PC. In both, 64% of patients were women. PC patients were older (mean age 81 vs. 76; P < 0.001), had lower MMSE (median 21 vs. 22; P < 0.001) and more likely to receive home care (31% vs. 20%; P < 0.001) or day care (5% vs. 3%; P < 0.001). Fewer diagnostic tests were performed in PC and diagnostic time was shorter. Basic testing was less likely to be complete in PC. The greatest differences were found for neuroimaging (82% in PC vs. 98% in SC) and clock tests (84% vs. 93%). These differences remained statistically significant after adjusting for MMSE and demographic characteristics. PC patients received less antipsychotic medication and more anxiolytics and hypnotics, but there were no significant differences in use of cholinesterase inhibitors between PC and SC.
CONCLUSION: primary and specialist AD patients differ in background characteristics, and this can influence diagnostic work-up and treatment. PC excels in restriction of antipsychotic use. Use of head CT and clock test in PC are areas for improvement in Sweden.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Alzheimer's disease; antidepressant treatment; dementia; mortality risk
Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy Geriatrics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-34688DOI: 10.1093/ageing/afw189PubMedID: 27810851OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-34688DiVA: diva2:1065067