Background: It is estimated that 6.5% of Australians older than 65 suffer from dementia. Yet, dementia is often underdiagnosed, for which general practitioners (GP), the primary source of medical care, blame lack of time and paucity of suitable screening instruments. To enhance GP diagnosis of dementia, we aimed to establish a website that provides (1) electronic versions of the General Practitioner Assessment of Cognition (GPCOG); (2) evidence-based guidelines on assessment and management to primary care practitioners; (3) an opportunity to assess the take-up rates and utility of the website and these aids. Methods: We conducted qualitative interviews with GPs to explore website requirements and an extensive literature research on available national and international guidelines for assessment and management of dementia patients in primary care. In total, 23 guidelines from 14 countries were found, of which 11 were suitable and have been made available on the website. The website, which can be accessed at www.gpcog.com.au, is free of charge, is available in several languages, and contains a very brief feedback questionnaire to evaluate the website’s utility. Results: Evaluation of the website is currently underway; results are expected in mid-2009. Conclusions: The multi-lingual website www.gpcog.com.au (funded by the Canadian National Institute for Care of the Elderly) makes a screening tool for cognitive impairment available to primary care workers worldwide. It provides health professionals with evidence-based guidelines and recommendations for further investigations that should be conducted once cognitive impairment is detected.
Alzheimer's and Dementia Vol. 5, Issue 5, p. e15-e16