Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.13/809068
- Early diagnosis of dementia and diagnostic disclosure in primary care in Australia: a qualitative study into the barriers and enablers
- The University of Newcastle. Faculty of Health, School of Medicine and Public Health
- Background: Research indicates the barriers to the early diagnosis of dementia and diagnostic disclosure of that diagnosis in primary care include the following: Negative attitudes to dementia care/therapeutic nihilism, Stigma, Paucity of dementia services, especially in rural areas, General practitioners’ (GPs’) lack of confidence or training, and Lack of a recognized and time-efficient screening tool. Methods: To identify the barriers and enablers experienced by Australian GPs, a qualitative study, with individual, semistructured interviews, is being conducted. Participants are GPs across four Australian research sites who have consented to participate in a larger trial on dementia. Interviews are audiotaped and transcribed. Data are then coded and subjected to thematic analysis. Results: A number of themes have emerged. Enablers to diagnosis include (1) support from relatives/carers, (2) access to services, (3) the belief in the patient’s right to know, (4) the desire of GPs to be honest and open with their patients, and (5) availability of a quick and effective screening tool. Barriers to diagnosis include the lack of the aforementioned enablers and also the fear of damaging the doctor-patient relationship, especially around the issue of driving cessation and license cancellation. Further data are being collected, and preliminary findings will be presented. Conclusions: Compelling evidence suggests that there are several structural and ideological obstacles that GPs encounter when attempting to diagnose dementia. However, there is also evidence of factors that encourage diagnosis and disclosure. Future educational supports for GPs need to concentrate on both of these areas.
- Alzheimer's and Dementia Vol. 5, Issue 5, p. e15
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- journal article